Breakfast/ Dinner

Mayi Moulen ak Aransò | Creamed Cornmeal with Smoked Herring

Mayi Moulen ak aransò is a great dish, ask me that 4 years ago, I wouldn’t agree. The smell of Aransò (smoked herring) was so gross to me but ohh how things have changed. What once made me gag is now a pleasant and enticing scent. I used to say Yuck and now I say Yum. I tasted the smoked herring patties from a Haitian Bakery called La Baguette and that made me fall deeper in love with herring, how could something taste so good??? Anyway now that I’ve experimented with it I want to share my recipe for Mayi Moulen ak Aransò (Cornmeal/Polenta with Smoked Herring). Trust me, if you give it a try you too will like it.

Desalting the smoked herring is super easy, boil it in some water for about 5-6 minutes, discard the water. Smoked herring is not as salty as salted codfish so you don’t really need to repeat that step more than once. I like to take 90% of the bones out just because I’m anal about stuff like that. People say that if you leave them, the bones will melt down; I can’t say if that is a fact or not but what I can say is that I’ve never gotten stabbed in the mouth by the 10% of bones that I do leave in there.

After deboning I use my cutting board and a large sharp knife to finely chop it down. If you’re old school and really want to channel your Haitian roots go ahead and use a Pilon (mortar and pestle) the original food processor (LOL).

The type of cornmeal I used was fine, my mom likes to use a coarser one but I’m not a big fan of it so I use the one that comes out super smooth and creamy. When I say fine I don’t mean the one that resembles a powder, it’s still grainy but small grains.

As I said above, try this you will like it!!!

Watch me make Mayi Moulen ak Aransò here:

Mayi Moulen ak Aransò | Creamed Cornmeal with Smoked Herring

Print Recipe
Serves: 4-6 Cooking Time: 40-45 minutes


  • 1 ½ cup fine cornmeal, rinsed
  • 3 pieces of smoked herring, desalted , deboned and finely chopped
  • ⅛ cup oil
  • ⅛ cup epis
  • ⅓ cup diced onions
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • ⅛ tsp clove powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chicken base or half a rectangular bouillon cube
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce or pikliz juice
  • 4 ⅓ cups water



Desalt your smoked herring, place in a small saucepan, cover with water and boil for about 6 minutes; discard water and cover with cold water to allow it to cool off before handling. Remove as many bones as you can and finely chop.


On medium to high heat add oil, epis and saute for a few seconds then add onions, tomatoes and herring and mix.


After about 1 minute add tomato paste then chicken base and mix. Add 4 ⅓ cups of water, salt, clove powder, black pepper, thyme, hot pepper sauce and bring to a boil.


Add cornmeal to boiling water and stir. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes. After 10 minutes uncover and beat vigorously (like beating eggs) for a few seconds and cover for remaining 5 minutes. Turn off flame and serve hot with sliced avocados. Enjoy!

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