Nigerian Spiced Jollof Rice with Fish

Jollof Rice with Fish
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Possibly the most famous West African dish – Jollof Rice – has made it onto our dinner table! Cooked in a spiced tomato sauce, rice makes a perfect warming side dish to ginger and garlic sea bass. Bursting with flavours, our Nigerian inspired Jollof Rice with Fish is an easy weeknight dinner for those who enjoy a bit of ‘hot and spicy’ on their plate!

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What is Jollof Rice?

Jollof is probably the most well-known West-African rice dish. Popular in Nigeria, Gambia, Senegal, Mali and Cameroon there are as many variations of the dish as there are families!

We first made Jollof Rice a couple of months ago, when it was featured in one of the BBC Good Food magazine issues. It sparked my interest because I’ve never tasted Nigerian food before. Moreover, cooking rice in rich tomato stock seemed like a genius way to add all the flavour. And when it comes to big flavours, this rice dish is definitely a winner.

We cooked our rice in tomato, garlic and curry spice flavoured sauce. We have added a scotch bonnet chilli for that real African cuisine heat. Whilst Jollof rice is eaten as a main dish in many countries, we served it as a side to a lovely pan-fried sea-bass that’d been marinating with ginger and garlic.

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Ingredients and Substitutions:

You can make this dish as elaborate or a simple as you’d like. Many ingredients can be easily replaced to what you have in your cupboards, for example:

  • Brown onion can be substituted with red onion or a couple of shallots
  • Replace scotch bonnet with a red chilli if you like milder food.
  • Plum tomato can be substituted with tinned chopped tomatoes or passata
  • Use whatever rice you have, but long grain and basmati work best
  • You can make your own Caribbean curry powder at home with spices you have in your cupboard – here’s a recipe I’ve used before.
  • Use mackerel fillets or tilapia instead of seabass. Or if you don’t fancy fish, this recipe will work great with some spiced chicken quarters, fried plantain or even chickpeas!

Overall, this simple Jollof Rice with Fish meal tasted amazing on a cold February evening. It is not surprising that Jollof is currently trending all over the world!

Step-by-Step Jollof Rice with Fish Recipe:

STEP 1: Marinate Your Fish:

About 6 hours before cooking, marinate your fish. Combine finely chopped or minced garlic, ginger and oil in a small bowl. Crumble in ¼ of a vegetable stock cube and mix to combine. Rub the marinade on fish fillets, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for approx. 5-6 hours, or overnight.

Jollof Rice with Fish

STEP 2: Make Jollof Rice

For the Jollof Rice, place the tomatoes, tomato purée, chilli, onion, 1/2 pepper, garlic and curry powder in a blender or food processor and whizz until smooth.

In a large pan with a matching lid, heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add the remaining chopped peppers, and the tomato sauce you made in the previous step. Bring to the boil. Add the rice and vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes. Take the lid off and stir every couple of minutes to prevent the rice from sticking, until the rice is cooked through. Take off the heat and leave to sit with the lid on for another 10 minutes, whilst you prepare the fish.

STEP 3: Pan-Fry Your Sea Bass

Dab the skin side of the seabass with some paper towel (to ensure crispy skin). Lightly brush the base of a non-stick frying pan with oil and heat over medium-high. Place the sea bass fillets in the pan skin-side down. As soon as they hit the pan, press down on the fillets with a spatula or a fish slice to prevent curling.

Fry for 3–4 minutes until skins crisp up. Gently turn the fish fillets over and continue cooking for another minute. The flesh of your seabass should be opaque.

STEP 4: Serve Nigerian Jollof Rice with Fish

Just before serving, stir in chopped coriander into the rice. Divide the jollof rice between plates, and top with pan-fired bass. In West-Africa, this meal is often served with a side of coleslaw!

Jollof Rice with Fish

We are cooking our way through cultures and cuisines around the world. For inspiration, have a look at our other African inspired recipes below:

Nigerian Spiced Jollof Rice with Fish

Possibly the most famous West African dish – Jollof Rice- has made it onto our dinner table! Cooked in a spiced tomato sauce, rice makes a perfect warming side dish to ginger and garlic flavoured sea bass. Bursting with flavours, our Nigerian Inspired Jollof Rice with Fish is an easy weeknight dinner for those who enjoy a bit of 'hot and spicy' on their plate!
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Marinating Time: 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 40 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Nigerian, West African
Servings 2 portions
Calories 605 kcal

Equipment

  • Blender or Food Processor

Ingredients
 
 

For Jollof Rice:

  • 1 small onion roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1 scotch bonnet or red chilli chopped
  • 200 g plum tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 1 pepper chopped into bite-size pieces
  • tsp curry powder jamaican style, ideally
  • 180 g long grain rice
  • 200 g vegetable stock
  • 15 g coriander roughly chopped

For Sea Bass:

  • 2 seabass fillets
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5 g ginger finely chopped or minced
  • 1 small garlic clove finely chopped or minced
  • ¼ vegetable stock cube

Instructions
 

  • About 6 hours before cooking, marinate your fish. Combine finely chopped or minced garlic, ginger and oil in a small bowl. Crumble in ¼ of a vegetable stock cube and mix to combine. Rub the marinate on fish fillets, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for approx. 5-6 hours, or overnight.
  • For the Jollof Rice, place the tomatoes, tomato purée, chilli, onion, 1/2 pepper, garlic and curry powder in a blender or food processor and whizz until smooth.
  • In a large pan with a matching lid, heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add the remaining chopped peppers, and the tomato sauce you made in the previous step. Bring to the boil. Add the rice and vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes. Take the lid off and stir every couple of minutes to prevent the rice from sticking, until the rice is cooked through. Take off the heat and leave to sit with the lid on for another 10 minutes, whilst you prepare the fish.
  • Dab the skin side of the seabass with some paper towel (to ensure crispy skin). Lightly brush the base of a non-stick frying pan with oil and heat over medium-high. Place the sea bass fillets in the pan skin-side down. As soon as they hit the pan, press down on the fillets with a spatula or a fish slice to prevent curling.
  • Fry for 3–4 minutes until skins crisp up. Gently turn the fish fillets over and continue cooking for another minute. The flesh of your seabass should be opaque.
  • Just before serving, stir in chopped coriander into the rice. Divide the jollof rice between plates, and top with pan-fired bass. In West-Africa, this meal is often served with a side of coleslaw!

Nutrition

Calories: 605kcalCarbohydrates: 87gProtein: 31gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 953mgPotassium: 535mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1624IUVitamin C: 29mgCalcium: 69mgIron: 2mg
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Jollof Rice with Fish

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