RunDung – Coconut Stew

Run Dung or dip and fall back is a tasty dish your great grandmother or grandmother from the country makes.  It is a hearty dish, filling and rich with good fats, vitamins and minerals. Apart from being nutritious rundung is “poor mans” food that formed a major part of the diets of old time rural Jamaicans. All the ingredients can usually be found growing in the yards of many rural homes. As a matter of fact there is even a folk song about this tasty stew called “dip and fall back”. Based on the song after the war when everything was scarce a man was experimenting and came up with the dip.

Listen to it on youtube

Recently I realized I hadn’t had this dish in over 15 years and I couldn’t find a restaurant in the USA or Jamaica that served it. I tried to make it with canned coconut milk but that turned out to be an epic fail so I set out to make it the way my ancestors did….. well almost.

Let me pause here to say that is a true labor of love. This dish took me about 1.5 hours to make but the taste is so heavenly. It also involves making coconut milk, coconut cream which is the base recipe for coconut oil. The coconut Milk/Cream produced is very rich and creamy compared to that purchased in a can. With this in mind you can make a big batch of coconut milk/ cream to be used for thai curries, rundung, pina coladas, coconut pancakes and even coconut milk for cereals.


Coconuts, Onion, thyme, Escallion, pepper, garlic

Coconuts, Onion, thyme, Escallion, pepper, garlic

  • 2 dry Coconuts
  • 3 Cloves Garlic crushed
  • 2 stalks green onions
  • 1 Habanero Pepper (optional)
  • ¼ lb saltfish (soaked overnight, rinsed, deboned and chopped in small pieces)
  • 2 Sprigs fresh thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • Water to cover coconut in blender

Specialty Tools

  • Coconut Kernel Remover or dinner knife
  • High powered blender (I use a vitamix) or a regular greater
  • Cheese Cloth for straining or a fine mesh strainer
  • Hammer for breaking coconut (a rock can be used for this as well)


  1. Break Coconut with hammer (save water for drinking, its packed with potassium)
  2. Use dinner knife or kernel remover to remove kernel by lodging knife blade between white kernel and hull. Rock knife and forth until kernel pops out. Blade MUST be DULL or you could slice your hand

Remove Coconut Kernel from Shell

3. Wash coconut pieces to remove any hull debris

Wash coconut after removing from shell

Washing Coconut

4. Chop coconut into small pieces

Chop Coconut kernel in small peices

Chopped Coconut. Round tool is coconut kernel remover

5. Add to blender and cover with water. Blend on high speed for  3-5 minutes

Blend Chopped Coconut

Blend Chopped Coconut and Water

6. Strain blended mixture with a cheese cloth and retain milk produced. This is coconut milk/ coconut cream. Use this in any recipe requiring these ingredients

Blended Coconut

Blended Coconut and Water Mixture

Strain Blended Coconut with a Cheese Cloth

Straining Coconut with a cheese cloth to make coconut milk/Cream

7. Add milk to pot and boil until thick and creamy (about 25 minutes)

Allow coconut milk to boil until thick and creamy

Coconut Milk Cream in pot

8. Add all spices listed above along with the saltfish

9. Cook for another 10 minutes

10.Serve and enjoy


The final Dish

 Other ways to enjoy

Fried Breadfruit and Rundung with Soursop Kale Smoothie

Fried Breadfruit and Rundung with Soursop Kale Smoothie

As a sauce for chicken wings


 Until next time

Jamaican Girl