Fish rice

Fish rice

Arroz de peixe

By
From
Lisbon
Serves
4
Photographer
Steven Joyce

I spent a lovely day with Luís Lopes and his team at their culinary school, Cooking Lisbon, mooching around Mercado de Arroios, a restored 1940s food market, and then learning to cook with the ingredients we bought there. This is based on their recipe.

The amount of liquid in fish rice can vary hugely – sometimes the texture is the same as risotto, sometimes it is closer to soup. For authentically soupy rice, use a ratio of 4:1 fish stock to rice.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 x 120-150g fresh white fish, such as hake, cod, haddock or bass
generous splash vinegar
750ml water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 green pepper, halved, ribs and seeds removed, and finely chopped
1 red pepper, halved, ribs and seeds removed, and finely chopped
generous pinch salt
a handful each flat-leaf parsley and coriander leaves, chopped, to serve, stems reserved and finely chopped
4 large ripe tomatoes, deseeded and finely chopped
50ml white wine
4 tablespoons passata or blitzed canned tomatoes
200g carolino, risotto or long-grain rice
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Place the fish bones into a bowl of iced water with a generous splash of vinegar – this helps remove any blood and gives a clearer stock. After about 15 minutes, remove, rinse and place the bones in a large saucepan. Cover with water and simmer for about 15 minutes to make a stock. (Or use good-quality ready-made fish stock.)
  2. Place a large pan over a medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion, garlic and peppers, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion begins to turn translucent, then add the coriander and parsley stems and the chopped tomatoes. Stir, then add the wine. Let it bubble for 1–2 minutes, then add the passata.
  3. Drain the stock, discarding the bones, and pour the liquid into the pan. Add the rice and cook gently, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. When the rice is tender, taste the mixture, which will be quite wet, and add more salt if you like and some pepper.
  4. Finally, add the fish pieces, cover and cook for 4–5 minutes, until just cooked through. Serve in 4 bowls, with the chopped herbs on top.
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