Shuck Bread

This is traditional cornbread. The Choctaws call it Bu-Na-Ha.

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  • 8 dried or fresh corn shucks
  • 2 cups white cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup partially cooked black-eyed peas or frozen black-eyed peas
  • Butter (for serving)
  • Salt (for serving)


  1. Boil shucks in water for about 10 minutes; drain, and reserve.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine cornmeal, baking soda and water. Stir in black-eyed peas. Form about 4 tablespoons of the mixture into a ball and place on a corn shuck. Fold end of shuck over filling. Fold in sides and then other end to make a squared package. Tie securely with a strip of shuck. Continue in this manner until all filling is used. Cook in boiling water for 45 to 50 minutes.
  3. Remove shucks and serve with butter and salt, if desired. If not serving immediately, refrigerate bread without removing shucks. Reheat for about 10 minutes in boiling water or in a steamer before serving.

Yield: 8 Shuck Breads