Very few staple ingredients have the same global reach as rice. Nearly every country you can think of with a decent climate has a national dish involving rice somewhere within its cuisine. Whether boiled, steamed, fried or baked, rice is perfect and affordable as well, and to celebrate this wonderful ingredient we have put together a collection of new and old recipes from Jamie.
So, let’s kick off in Europe with the versatile dish we know as risotto.
10) Get the basics right and the world’s your oyster. Serve this fluffy rice with one of the suggestions further down the list.
9) If you’ve never attempted a risotto, it really is nothing to be scared of and all the pot-watching efforts are all worth it. This Basic risotto recipe needs to be silky smooth and not stodgy. The stocks and ingredients you choose to add will bring this to life.
8) My English childhood Sundays involved a muddy, cold wrestle at the rugby club and then home for a Sunday roast. For pudding my favourite was always, without exception, a homemade rice pudding. This is an amazing Icelandic version. Full of warming spice and goodness.
7) Kedgeree dates back to the days before India’s independence. The spices were too much for the British palate so a milder dish with more recognisable ingredients was created by local chefs. Scottish-style smoked haddock and India’s beloved rice and spice were combined to create what was originally a breakfast.
6) This curry would not be the same without the addition of a bowl of rice. This Keralan veggie curry is from Jamie’s Fifteen–Minute Meals. The Southern Indian flavours pack a real wallop and as the book title always suggests is dead-easy, quick and delicious.
5) The Thais do a mean hot curry but Jamie’s steamed bass with rice is milder. This recipe from 30-minute Meals asks for the freshest bass, the most comforting spices and a cooling and filling rice side dish. This can be plonked in the middle of the table and everyone can get stuck in – a proper crowd-pleaser.
4) The Mexicans love their rice too and what better way to show off the flavours of Central America than with this warming and classic chilli con carne. Jamie uses Basmati rice for this which has a fluffier and less sticky nature. Tip: add soaked, smoked chipotle chillies to your rice for a smoky kick of heat.
3) The Japanese have turned rice into an art form with sushi. This beef carpaccio dish is inspired by the delicate and intricate mix of spice and seasoning which has made Japanese cuisine so popular. Sushi rice has a higher starch content which makes it sticky and completely irresistible. Practice makes perfect, so keep playing around with the heat and flavours until you find your perfect partner.
2) Back to Europe for our number 2 with another belter from Fifteen-Minute Meals. Again this super-quick beef stroganoff will leave them asking for more. Jamie has added a cool parsley pickle into the mix to turn it into something very special to serve to your family.
1) Number one is an absolute classic dish with rice central to the whole story – paella. Jamie’s favourite paella does that thing which really shouldn’t work, but does; mixing meat and seafood. To us in the UK this takes us back to our holidays in the Spanish sun and just ask any Spaniard – it never gets boring.