Facts about Griot: Unveiling Haiti’s National Dish

Last updated on October 6th, 2023 at 02:39 pm

Haitian griot, Haiti's national dish, on a plate

Welcome to our guide on the fascinating dish known as Griot, Haiti’s national dish. Griot is a beloved and cherished culinary tradition in Haiti, deeply rooted in the country’s rich history and culture. This mouthwatering dish consists of tender chunks of pork that are marinated, fried until crispy, and then served with a side of pikliz, a spicy cabbage slaw.

Griot holds a special place in the hearts of Haitians, as it is often enjoyed during festive occasions and family gatherings. It is not only a delicious meal but also a symbol of unity and celebration. In this article, we will delve into the origins of Griot, explore its significance in Haitian cuisine, and uncover some interesting facts about this beloved national dish.

Our team at Remitly created this guide as part of our series celebrating the traditional cuisine of our global customers.


Traditional Griot Preparation

The key ingredient in Griot is pork, which is widely available in Haiti. The pork is typically cut into small, bite-sized pieces and marinated in a mixture of citrus juices, garlic, and spices. The marinade helps to tenderize the meat and adds a depth of flavor to the dish.

To prepare Griot, the marinated pork is first boiled until tender and then fried until crispy.

The dish is often served as a main course with rice and beans or plantains, in addition to pikliz.

Culinary Heritage and History

The technique of marinating meat likely has its origins in West Africa, as many enslaved Africans were brought to Haiti and carried their culinary traditions with them.

The use of citrus in the marinade, like sour orange, echoes the fruit that was available on the island, some of which was introduced by European colonizers. The frying method is a cooking technique adapted to the resources available in Haiti and also shows European influence.

Recipe: for Haitian Griot


  • 2 pounds of pork shoulder, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  1. In a large bowl, combine the minced garlic, salt, black pepper, dried thyme, paprika, lime juice, and orange juice. Mix well to create the marinade.
  2. Add the pork pieces to the marinade and toss to coat them evenly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight for best results. This will allow the flavors to penetrate the meat and tenderize it.
  3. Once the pork has marinated, remove it from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
  4. In a large pot, add enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom by about 1 inch. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F (175°C).
  5. Carefully add the marinated pork pieces to the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pot. Fry the pork in batches, if necessary.
  6. Fry the pork for about 5-7 minutes, or until it is golden brown and crispy. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the pork from the oil and transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
  7. Repeat the frying process with the remaining pork pieces until all are cooked.
  8. Serve the Griot hot with pikliz, a spicy cabbage slaw, and your choice of sides such as rice and beans or plantains.

Learn More About Haitian Cuisine

Influenced by African, French, and indigenous Taino traditions, Haitian dishes are known for their bold and complex flavors. From hearty stews to spicy seafood dishes, Haitian cuisine offers a wide range of delicious options.

One of the most popular dishes in Haitian cuisine is called “diri ak djon djon,” which is a flavorful rice dish made with black mushrooms. The mushrooms give the rice a unique and earthy flavor, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Another staple in Haitian cuisine is “tassot,” which is fried and seasoned meat, typically made with beef or goat. Tassot is often served with fried plantains and pikliz, a spicy cabbage slaw.

Seafood also plays a significant role in Haitian cuisine, thanks to the country’s coastal location. “Lambi,” or conch, is a popular seafood dish that is often prepared in a spicy tomato-based sauce. It is typically served with rice and beans or fried plantains. “Poisson gros sel” is another seafood dish that features fish marinated in a flavorful blend of spices and cooked in a savory sauce.

Haitian desserts are a sweet ending to any meal. “Pain patate” is a popular dessert made with sweet potatoes, coconut milk, and spices. It is often enjoyed during the holiday season. “Tèt Grenn” is another beloved dessert made with peanut butter, sugar, and spices. It is shaped into small balls and enjoyed as a sweet treat.

From the aromatic spices to the rich and hearty dishes, Haitian cuisine offers a unique and unforgettable culinary experience. So, next time you have the opportunity, don’t miss the chance to savor the delicious flavors of Haiti.

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