One-Pot Wonders

Gullah Rice

June  8, 2021
2 Ratings
Photo by Siobhán Egan
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This one-pot dish is akin to a purloo or a jambalaya. It evokes the traditional tomato-based Savannah Red Rice but is steeped in a hearty vegetable stock. When I was coming up, a bowl of rice with some roasted vegetables in it was often dinner, especially when meat proved scarce. I still find it comforting, just as I did during those lean years when I was at Howard University, right after getting out of the Army. Anytime someone would say they didn’t have any food in the house, I would invite folk over and serve my version of Gullah Rice, finished with a handful of fresh arugula that wilts lightly from the heat. Tip: If you want to add meat, sauté sliced smoked or andouille sausage, or chicken tenders cut into chunks, for 5 to 7 minutes before adding the onion. For shrimp, add peeled and deveined shrimp during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Excerpted from Bress ‘n’ Nyam: Gullah Geechee Recipes from a Sixth-Generation Farmer. Copyright © 2021 CheFarmer Matthew Raiford and Amy Paige Condon. Photography © 2021 by Siobhán Egan. Reproduced by permission of The Countryman Press, a Division of W.W. Norton & Company. All rights reserved.Matthew Raiford

What You'll Need
  • Gullah Rice
  • 1 cup red onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons bacon grease or butter
  • 1 bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 whole habanero pepper
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 3/4 cups Vegetable Stock (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup Carolina Gold Rice or another long-grain rice
  • Vegetable Stock
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 pound yellow onions, roughly chopped (do not use sweet onions)
  • 1/2 pound baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 pound carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  1. Gullah Rice
  2. In a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, sauté the onion in the bacon grease until it starts to soften, approximately 3 to 4 minutes, then add the bell pepper and sauté for another minute or two more.
  3. Toss in the garlic, paprika, salt, and habanero pepper. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and vegetable stock, then let the vegetable mixture come to boil.
  4. Stir in the rice and turn the heat down to a simmer and cover. Every 5 minutes or so over a 20-minute period, stir the rice until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove the rice from the heat, taste and add a pinch or two more of salt to your liking. Allow the rice to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  1. Vegetable Stock
  2. Place all the ingredients in a large stockpot over high heat and bring to a roaring boil. Turn the heat to low and let the stock simmer for 1 hour.
  3. Remove the stock from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Once cooled, strain the stock into 2-cup portions in sealable containers and place in the refrigerator, where it will keep up to 2 weeks. In the freezer, the stock will keep up to 6 months. Tip: This makes 6 to 8 cups. Make a double or triple batch of this stock to keep on hand for rice dishes, soups, and sautés. You can freeze it or keep it refrigerated for up to two weeks. You may add clippings from other vegetables, such as asparagus and other greens, for added flavor, depth, and nutrients. Throw any of your leftover vegetable peels into your compost bin.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Smaug
  • Altagrl88
  • JLGM

4 Reviews

Altagrl88 March 8, 2023
Great recipe! I was in a hurry so I didn't build the broth, I used organic veg boullion and put all the spices and tomato into the fry pan w the diced veg. My 6 yr-old who is SUPER picky ate every last grain. I served it with stir-fried mixed seafood, baked basa and sausages. Will be adding this to our standing menu!
Altagrl88 March 8, 2023
P.s. Left out the mushrooms. Traditional or not it was delicious!
JLGM June 8, 2021
So happy to see modern Gullah cuisine represented on Food52! I will live for these posts.
Smaug June 4, 2021
I'm certainly not an expert on Gullah culture, but i find it hard to believe that Habanero peppers, baby bella mushrooms and pink Himalayan salt are a part of the tradition.