Thursday 16 February 2017

Globecooking recipe : Fish with bè rouj (red butter) (Martinique)

Some time last year (wow, I've just checked and it was all the way back in March), my monthly Kitchen Trotter box took us on a culinary voyage to discover the delights of creole dishes from islands like Martinique and Guadeloupe. You can see what was in the box here. One of the ingredients was this tub of bè rouj, which is the creole way of saying beurre rouge, red butter.

It's been sitting in the cupboard ever since because I was expecting something like a spicy salsa that would probably be blow-your-head-off hot. Well, after looking online for recipe ideas, I peeled back the lid to discover ... this ! Had it gone off? Was it supposed to have this strange texture ? I had a look at the ingredients and discovered that it is a combination of lard, roucou, paprika and salt.

Also known as annatto, roucou is derived from the seeds of the achiote tree and gives a lovely orangey-red colour to whatever you're cooking. Apart from giving the fish a nice colour, I didn't think it added anything at all in terms of taste though.

Fish with bé rouj (red butter)

ingredients :

4 fillets of white fish
2 onions
1 clove of garlic
2tbsp bè rouj (or just regular butter + paprika for colour)
the juice of 1 lemon
3 tomatoes
1/2-1tsp chilli powder
1tsp thyme

Put a tiny drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onions and garlic, making sure they don't colour or burn.

Add 1tbsp of bè rouj and stir until it melts and coats everything evenly.

Lay the fish fillets on top, squeeze over the lemon juice then roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the pan.

Sprinkle over the chilli and thyme and add an extra spoonful of bè rouj if it needs extra colour. Turn the fish over halfway through the cooking time and spoon the buttery sauce over the top from time to time.

Use a wooden spoon to break up the larger chunks of tomato.

Once cooked (5-10 minutes, depending on the thickness), serve the fish on a bed of rice and spoon over some of the tomatoes and cooking juices.

Fancy trying some more Martinican dishes? How about :

Adding to this month's #KitchenClearout linky as it used up some of my bé rouj.


  1. Looks fab. Creole food is fantastic. Some great spices!

  2. I have never cooked with red butter. The fish looks very tasty. Annato seeds are a novelty product for me as well


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