Category Archives: Rice

szechuan chicken stir fry

This is a really easy and quick to cook stir fry chicken recipe using szechuan pepper which is a fragrant pepper which is widely available.

First place the chicken in a bag with the ginger, garlic, soy, pepper and chilli; ideally leave it to marinade for at least half an hour.

When you are ready to eat get all the veg ready for a quick drop in the wok!  Heat the oil in the wok until smoking hot.

Add the onion and chilli and fry for a couple of minutes before adding the carrot and pepper.  Fry for a couple of more minutes then add the chicken mix from the bag.

Fry until the chicken is coloured all round, make sure you keep everything moving around the wok.

Add the broccoli and the stock and allow to cook off for a few more minutes; let it reduce and place a lid on for the last couple of minutes to steam the brocolli; this stage should take no more than 5 minutes.

Serve hot with rice – yum


Smoked mackerel sushi

This is a really easy smoked mackerel sushi dish and requires hardly any cooking.  You’ll need a rolling mat which you can buy from a Chinese supermarket or specialist (ahem) tobacconists!

First cook the rice, sushi rice is quite short and high in starch so it becomes quite sticky.  This recipe used a rice which had 1 cup of rice to 1.3 cups of water.  basically bring it to the boil then turn down and simmer until cooked, it takes around 20 mins. Continue reading Smoked mackerel sushi

Garlicky pumpkin risotto


Make the pesto:
Pulse the basil, garlic and pinenuts in a food processor to a coarse paste, adding enough olive oil to produce a loose-textured puree. Pour into a bowl and fold in the parmesan.

Cook the garlic:
Blanch the 6 cloves in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain all the water off then add 200ml of the stock and half the butter. Simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes until the garlic is really soft and the stock and butter have reduced to a syrupy glaze. Remove from the heat. (You can do this up to 4 hours in advance).

Cook the pumpkin:
Heat oven to 200C. Toss the pumpkin cubes with the olive oil, season and roast for 10-15 minutes until just tender.

Make the risotto:
Sweat the onion in the remaining butter in a large shallow pan until soft – about 5 minutes. Tip in the rice, raise the heat and toast the rice until translucent. Lower the heat and add the remaining stock a ladleful at a time, stirring well until the stock is completely absorbed before adding the next ladleful.
Once the rice is al dente, fold in the two cheeses, garlic cloves and pumpkin. Cook for a further 2 minutes.

Serve with a drizzle of pesto on top.

Tuna pilau


This is a great ‘fridge surprise’ tea and leftovers are great for lunch – hot or cold – the next day!

Heat the oil in a heavy based pan (one that has a tight fitting lid) and add the curry leaves and onion with a pinch of salt. Fry gently, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes until soft and slightly caramelised.

Add the garlic and ginger and continue frying for a few minutes. Next, add the spices and mix well.

Tip in the rice, coat well with the spice mixture and add the stock. You may not need the full 500ml, so leave a wee bit behind. Mix well, bring to a boil then cover and simmer for about 7 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is almost cooked.

At this stage, flake in the tuna and add the peas. If it looks really dry, you can add a bit more stock. Cover and continue to simmer for another few minutes until the tuna and peas have warmed through and the rice is cooked. Turn out the heat and leave to sit, covered for 2-3 minutes.

When ready to serve, squeeze over the lemon juice and sprinkle over the fresh herbs.


Spiced lamb and coconut pilaf


In a heavy-bottomed casserole dish with a lid, fry the onion, garlic and ginger in the groundnut oil until soft and slightly coloured.

Add the lamb mince and brown. Next, add the rice and spices with a pinch of salt and stir well. Pour in the stock and coconut milk. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for about 10-15 minutes or until the liquid has been mostly absorbed. Add the peas and cook for a further 2 minutes. Check the seasoning, squeeze over the lemon or lime and garnish with the coriander.

Pea, prawn and mint risotto


Heat the stock in a pan and keep on a low heat.
Gently fry the onion and celery in olive oil in a frying pan taking care not to colour. Add a good pinch of salt and stir well until vegetables have softened.  Add garlic and fry for a couple of minutes.
Add rice and mix well with the vegetables so that the grains are well coated in oil and glistening. Add the wine and reduce until almost evaporated.

Then start adding the stock, a ladle at a time, making sure that each ladleful is absorbed before adding the next, stirring well.

Before all stock is added, add peas and prawns. The rice is cooked when it is soft but still with a bite. At the end, add the herbs, butter and some of the parmesan and stir well. Check seasoning and leave to sit in the pan for a few minutes before serving.

Serve in bowls – sprinkle with rest of parmesan and squeeze over a little lemon juice to taste.


Heat oil in ovenproof pan with a lid. Add sauasage and fry until browned and the oil has taken the colour of the sausage. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add onion, green pepper, garlic and celery to the pan and fry for a few minutes on a high heat. Cover, turn down the heat and sweat for a few minutes. Add spices and mix well. Return the sausage to the pan.

Add rice and mix through. Add whatever stock and tomatoes and stir through. Bring to the boil and add herbs and season. Place chicken and prawns (if using) in a layer on top of the rice. Cover and cook on the hob on a low heat until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and the chicken is cooked through- about 20 mins.

Alternatively, cook in the oven at 180C for about the same time. Leave to stand with lid on for 5 minutes before serving.

Fragrant couscous

Place couscous in a large bowl. Bruise the cardamon. Add to bowl with salt and butter. Pour over about 850ml boiling water. Stir once and leave to stand for 10-15 mins.
Toast almonds and pine nuts in a dry pan until golden.

Chop the pistachios. Once couscous has absorbed all the liquid, add the nuts and mix through with a fork. Check the seasoning and serve at room temperature.

Arroz Con Gandule


  • 2 or 3 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 3 cups water 2 cups rice (american long grain)
  • 2 tbls Smoked paprika
  • Some hot pepper sauce – Miss Anna’s or similar


Here’s another offering from sunny St Croix. Now although it might look like a bowl of dog food, this dish is actually a Puerto Rican classic, “Arroz Con Gandules”. If your Spanish isnt too good, Gandules are Pigeon Peas. So rice and Pigeon Peas. I’m not too sure what a Pigeon pea is, kind of like a cross between a lentil and a pea, has a kind of nutty flavour

Simplicity itself : big pan – cook  bacon / onions / pepper, add the garlic, cook a bit more. Add the pigeon peas, tomato puree, water and Sazon – bring to the boil. Add rice and simmer 20 mins with the lid on. When rice is cooked add as much hot sauce as you can handle.