Photo from au-senegal.com
Embark on a culinary adventure to Senegal with our Ceebu Jen recipe. Ceebu Jen, the national dish of Senegal, is a hearty and flavorful rice and fish stew that showcases the essence of West African cuisine. With its unique blend of ingredients and spices, this dish offers a true taste of Senegal, making it a must-try for food enthusiasts.
To create this delectable Ceebu Jen, gather the following ingredients:
2 cups rice (preferably broken jasmine or parboiled rice)
1 lb (450g) whole fish or fish fillets (such as red snapper or grouper)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 habanero pepper, minced (adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Assorted vegetables (carrots, cabbage, eggplant, etc.)
Follow these steps to create your Ceebu Jen masterpiece:
Prepare the Rice:
Rinse the rice under cold water and drain. Set it aside for later.
Sauté the Fish:
In a large pot, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the fish until it's lightly browned on both sides, then remove it and set it aside.
Sauté the Aromatics:
In the same pot, add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté until they're soft and fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, habanero pepper, and spices (thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper). Cook for a few minutes to combine the flavors.
Add the Rice and Vegetables:
Add the rinsed rice and assorted vegetables to the pot. Gently stir to coat them with the aromatic mixture.
Simmer with Fish:
Place the sautéed fish on top of the rice and vegetables. Add enough water to cover the ingredients and season with salt and black pepper. Cover the pot and simmer on low heat for about 30-40 minutes or until the rice is tender and the fish is cooked through.
Ceebu Jen is best served hot, family-style, with the fish, rice, and vegetables arranged on a platter. It is often accompanied by a side of spicy tomato sauce or "soupe kandja."
In conclusion, Ceebu Jen is a true representation of Senegalese cuisine, offering a taste of Senegal's rich and diverse flavors. By preparing this dish, you can experience the warmth and vibrancy of West African food traditions, right in your own kitchen.