Haitian Black Mushroom Rice with Shrimp – Diri Ak Djon Djon ak Kribich is a classic Haitian dish. This one pot dish is a delicious way to bring some global flavors to your dinner!
I am half Haitian and yet, have very few Haitian recipes on this site as my passion lies with exploring cultures around the world via food and travel. I think it’s so important to go outside of your bubble. Especially in today’s political climate, it’s important to learn about other’s way of life to break down biases and remain open minded and tolerant of others who may live a little different than you. As much as I love exploring the cuisines and cultures of the world, there is something about the foods that I grew up with that symbolizes comfort food for me.
I think it’s because these foods bring me back to my care free childhood before worries of money, career and all the responsibilities of adulthood. Whether it is the diverse foods of my mother’s culture like her Curry Chicken and Nasi Goreng or things like Sauce Pois and this Djon Djon from my dad’s culture, it fills me with such a warm and comforting feeling inside, especially when it’s winter and the temperatures start to cool as they are now.
Maybe because we always traveled during the summer, but winter weekend mornings I always remember waking up to the aroma of my mom’s Caribbean style hot cocoa & Cornmeal Porridge or Akasan. Therefore, in my brain I associate comfort food with winter time and cooler temperatures.
What is Djon Djon?
If you live in a community with large Haitian populations like Brooklyn or Queens (in NYC) or Miami, you are probably already familiar with the popular Haitian Black Rice, if you frequent Haitian restaurants. However, many people who love to consume this delicious rice I speak to actually don’t know what it is made with or what gives the rice it’s black hue – All they know is that it is delicious!
Well, I am here to give you the low down on Haitian Black Rice.
It is made from a dried mushroom that is native only to Haiti, as far as I know. It is grown in the northern part of the island.
Where to purchase Djon Djon?
The only place you can purchase it is at Haitian markets or really good international markets. In these communities referenced above, women also sell it with other Haitian products on the sidewalks from shopping carts or street side tables. These women usually sell djon djon, dried shimp, cloves, cinnamon sticks, cocoa cones, cashews and a few other foods commonly used in Haitian cooking.
I have often sometimes seen it in African markets like this one – I sometimes go to in Canarsie.
Although probably not exactly the same mushroom, I have seen some Haitians refer to this dried black trumpet mushroom that makes a good substitute. You can purchase it online here.
Before we get to today’s recipe, let’s check out some more Haitian food.
- Banane Peze (Haitian style Green Plantain fritters)
- Pikliz (Pickled Pepper condiment)
- Pain Patate (Sweet Potato Bread)
- Pate (Salt Cod Baked Pastries)
- Sos Ti Malice – Haitian Devil Sauce
- Jou Mou (Pumpkin Soup)
Djon Djon Variations
As a side dish, it is not always made with shrimp so you can easily omit the shrimp for the Vegetarian version.
It is more commonly made with lima beans, but have hated lima beans since my childhood. You can use lima beans instead of the peas and carrots, for a more traditional version.
Serve with pikliz and fried plantain.
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