Citrus and rice

Citrus and rice

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From
Citrus
Photographer
Mowie Kay

There are endless possibilities when combining citrus with rice, and you can adapt any of these recipes to your favourite type. In particular, I love a sticky black rice scented with lime, or a wild rice with lots of orange notes. These are side dishes in which the role of citrus is to scent gently and add more background flavour, and, as it’s more about subtlety than big impact flavours, I use pieces of pared zest that can be fished out at the end of cooking, rather than a fine grating.

These recipes incorporate citrus from the start, but it is worth pointing out that you can also dress cooked rice for a quick side dish or main leftover meal – a yuzu ponzu, some leftover sauce (try the sauce from the Seville Orange-Spiced Duck), or any salad dressing is excellent with leftover steamed rice.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

Gently scented rice

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. For this fragrant, mellow dish, use pared lemon or lime zest, or leaves – anything else will be too bitter. Rinse 300g of your choice of rice – basmati or jasmine work best – under plenty of cold water until it is running clear. Drain thoroughly and add to a saucepan with a generous pinch of salt and either a few pieces of pared lemon, lime or mandarin zest or a handful of citrus leaves. Add any other aromatics you like, then add 450ml freshly boiled water, or a light stock. Return to the boil, then turn down and cover, putting a tea towel or a few sheets of kitchen paper between the pot and its lid. Simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed, around 15 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to steam for a further 5–10 minutes. You should have perfectly dry, fluffy, aromatic rice.

Bitter orange rice

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. Put a few pieces of dried bitter orange peel in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then drain and rinse. Repeat this twice more. Follow the instructions for Gently Scented Rice), adding any aromatics you like – I will usually include a bay leaf, a few cardamom pods, a small piece of cinnamon, a few peppercorns and coriander seeds. Rinse 500g basmati rice as before. Fry the spices and orange peel in 1 tbsp oil, then add the rice. For an even sweeter touch, add 50g finely chopped dates as well. Stir to coat, then pour in 750ml freshly boiled water. Cook as before – after 15 minutes, push holes in the rice with a wooden spoon handle, top with slices of butter and sprinkle with a few drops of orange blossom water. Leave to stand, covered, for another 10 minutes.

Lime and coconut rice

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. This includes finely grated zest and I use it mainly with Caribbean style dishes – but if you want to make it more Thai, you can add a bruised lemongrass stem and just 1 small kaffir lime leaf as well. Rinse 300g rice as for Gently Scented Rice, and put in a saucepan. Season and add the finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime. Sprinkle over 50g powdered coconut milk (the sort you usually rehydrate before use, not coconut flour) and add 450ml boiling water. Cook as for the Gently Scented Rice, making sure you remove from the heat and leave to steam for at least 10 minutes at the end. Garnish with coriander and some freshly shaved coconut if you like. I will sometimes add 200g cooked black beans to this as well, although the colour will obviously suffer for it. This is very good with the Mojo Chicken.
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