Yinka Ogunbiyi’s Warming Winter Recipe
British-Nigerian chef Yinka Ogunbiyi (@foodfireandsoul) splits her time between Boston and London. She invented the Kamado Joe SloRoller (which enhances ceramic grills by surrounding food in smoke and evenly distributing heat), co-designed a line of smart barbecue grills, and now has created an exclusive recipe for Service95.
Seafood Jollof Rice
Jollof rice is one of the most cherished and (certainly within the West African community) debated comfort foods. Why? Because there are numerous iterations of this dish; some use long-grain rice, others use basmati, some add coconut milk, and others use tomato puree and tinned tomatoes as opposed to fresh tomatoes. Here’s my twist on the classic – loaded with fresh seafood and inspired by Portuguese arroz de marisco. It’s perfect for a dinner party, but I usually find myself spooning it straight from the pot into my mouth.
4 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 red bell peppers, stem removed and roughly torn
½ medium onion, roughly chopped
1 scotch bonnet chilli pepper (or habanero), deseeded
150ml (⅔ cup) vegetable or sunflower oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp curry powder
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fish stock bouillon cube
400g (2 cups) long-grain parboiled rice
Parsley (to serve)
Lemon (to serve)
8 large head-on prawns, peeled and deveined (keep the shells)
½kg mussels, rinsed and scrubbed
½kg clams, soaked in salt water for 15 minutes
- Blend the tomato, red pepper, onion and scotch bonnet chilli pepper into a smooth puree.
- Heat the oil on a medium heat in a large non-reactive pot for three minutes to ‘cook’ the oil.
- Add the garlic, spices, herbs and stock to the oil and 2 teaspoons of salt. Add the shells of your deshelled prawns if using them. Fry for a minute or two until sizzling and aromatic.
- Add the tomato blend. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes. Taste and season the sauce. It should be delicious and over-seasoned. Reserve ¼ of the sauce (about 120ml/½ cup) for later.
- Wash the rice well until the water runs clear and scoop it into the pot. Cover it, then turn the heat down low and steam the rice for around 30 minutes until soft with a bit of bite. Fluff the rice.
- Take the reserved sauce and layer it onto the seafood in a saucepan with a lid. Cover and steam for around 7 minutes until the prawns are bright red and the clams and mussels open. Discard any that don’t open.
- Serve with chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon.
Things to note:
- Try as far as possible to choose certified sustainable seafood. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is a good resource to find out more about this.
- Parboiled rice is often labelled ‘easy cook’ or ‘golden sella’. If you can’t find it, jasmine or carolino rice work well.
- Alternatively, swap the seafood out for a colourful pile of mixed vegetables such as carrots peeled into ribbons, whole green beans, sliced red and green bell peppers and shredded cabbage, and replace the fish stock for vegetable stock. Stir fry the veg on a high heat with a little oil and season with salt.
Yinka Ogunbiyi is a British-Nigerian chef and hosts a pop-up dinner series called Eat Your Mouth