Shrimp jambalaya

Shrimp jambalaya

Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

This colourful Creole dish derives from Spanish paella (New Orleans was ruled by Spain in the 18th century). Like paella, it is a meal in itself.


Quantity Ingredient
200g long-grain rice
2 thick rashers streaky bacon, rind removed, cut into strips
1 tablespoon oil or butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tender sticks celery, sliced
1 large green pepper, cored, seeded and cut into strips
375-500ml chicken stock, boiling
250g tinned tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
pinch cayenne
125g ham, cut into small strips
freshly ground black pepper
500g raw prawns, shelled and deveined
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped


  1. Rinse rice in a sieve under cold running water until water runs clear. Drain well.
  2. Fry bacon in a large, flameproof casserole until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Add oil or butter to bacon fat in pan and gently cook onion and garlic until soft but not brown. Add celery and green pepper and cook for about 2 minutes or until slightly wilted. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until rice becomes translucent.
  4. Add 375 ml boiling stock with tomatoes, thyme, cayenne, ham, salt and pepper. (Remember that ham may make mixture a little saltier as it cooks.)
  5. Bring to the boil and stir once, then cover tightly and place in a preheated moderately slow oven. Cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Add prawns, pushing them down beneath the surface. Cover again and cook for a further 10–15 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Check once or twice during this time and if rice appears dry, add a few more spoonfuls of boiling stock.
  7. Add parsley and fork through. Serve jambalaya from the casserole or pile it onto a large, heated serving dish.


  • Chicken jambalaya: Follow recipe above, but substitute 3 chicken fillets, each cut crossways in half and sautéed for 5 minutes in a little butter, for the prawns.
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