Rundown recipe

Without question, the first food people think of when they think Caribbean coast is rondon. Brought over by Jamaican immigrants in the 1800s, run down (as it is called in queen’s English) has been the staple stew served at festivals, parties and weekend get-togethers. There are many different styles, and every true costeño has their own recipe depending on what is in the market on that day. This recipe is called drop drawers rondon, because as legend has it, a bellyfull makes the men want to drop their drawers when the ladies walk by. This will feed about ten men with bellies empty and pants up.


First, you will have to track down a whooole list of goodies:

1/2 gal coconut milk
2lb shrimp (shelled)
2lb fish (cleaned and headed)
1/2lb clams or oysters (shelled)
1 doz crabs (whole)
1 doz bananas (peeled and halved)
3lb yucca (aka cassava) (peeled and split, halved)
1lb malanga (peeled and cubed about 1″)
4 green plantains (peeled and halved)
3lb quequisque (aka taro) (peeled and cubed about 1″)
2 seafood bullion cubes
1 chile cabro (or any small, hot pepper)
1 onion (diced medium)
2 bell peppers (diced medium)
1tbs black pepper
salt and lime halves as you wish for taste

Once you have all the ingredients, find yourself a big pot, build a fire on the ground and get cooking:

1. Boil the crab and clams/oysters until they are well cooked
2. In the big pot, boil the coconut milk and throw in the black pepper, salt and all the ingredients that grow out of the ground except the chili cabro and lime halves
3. After a couple of minutes, add in the seafood bullion
4. When the veggies begin to soften, add in the shrimp, the crab and the clams/oysters
5. The fish is added last with the chili cabro. Set the lid on your pot and let it cook for about 20 minutes
Note: if you want a milder rondon, add the chili cabro 5 minutes before you remove the pot from the fire. Serve on the side of rice and bean with the lime halves for taste.

This….is….delicious. It put me to sleep before any ladies happened to walk by, so I can’t comment on the reputed viagra-like properties. Let me know how you like it!

Recipe adapted from the book Bluefields Creole Kitchen: A Taste of the Caribbean