I am all about uniqueness and creativity and I believe that this should be applied to all areas of our lives including our food! Food is a universal necessity and food, as an art form, is unique in many ways and food, when created at its highest form, appeals to all five senses at once.
According to Wikipedia, Jollof rice is one of the most common dishes in Western Africa. There are several regional variations in name and ingredients, with non-local versions regarded as “inauthentic”. The name Jollof rice derives from the name of the Wolof people, though in Senegal and Gambia the dish is referred to in Wolof as theibou dienne or benachin. In French-speaking areas, it is called Riz au gras. Despite the variations, the dish is “mutually intelligible” across the region, and has spread along with the diaspora to become the best known African dish outside the continent.
We all know that in Nigeria, no party is complete without Jollof rice. However, there are people like me who will take fried rice over Jollof rice any day. But this is a story for another day. Lol.
That said, I think we have become too comfortable with the idea of Jollof that we do not experiment with it enough. We do not stretch its reality enough to create other variations of it. But thanks to this post by Chef Ozoz also known as the ‘Kitchen Butterfly’, I would never have thought that our Jollof could be transformed into a sushi worthy piece when paired with dry fish.
According to the Kitchen Butterfly,
“this concept is about sushi, Japanese rice rolls. Years ago, I attended a sushi workshop in the Netherlands and fell in love with the perfect bites of rice wrapped in seaweed sheets. Here, I’ve combined ‘traditional’, palm-oil based flavours using gorgeous dry fish skin instead of the nori sheets, smoky rice and fresh herbs to create delicious rolls.”
Let’s dig in…
- Dry Fish skin washed, trimmed and set aside which became the ‘seaweed sheets’. I made some with scent leaves laid on, and some without. I thought I’d up the herby, citrusy flavours.
- Local Jollof, Palm-oil Jollof is a specialty, a delicacy. I love to make mine with lots of scent leaves with flaked dry fish folded in.
- Scent leaves
- Hot sauce
- Herbs to garnish
Prep & Plating
I cooked the rice, cleaned my fish skin then laid out some cling film.
Fish skin went on the clingfilm and then I part-lined the fish skin with fresh scent leaves.
Next, I place some rice in the skin and made a roll.
Which then got wrapped in the cling film, like a sausage. I put it in the freezer for a few hours because I wanted it to ‘set’ and hold. Once it was time to plate, I warmed the roll in a saucepan of water till it was heated through, about 5 – 8 minutes.
I then cut the wrap into small bites, ready for the next step.
And then, plating began – I smeared some pepper sauce in the center of a plate
Then placed some of the rolls on the side and up-facing. Herbs were next…
Followed by the crispy fish floss and skin
The crispy herbs/ scent leaves were next and then I topped the central rice roll with waterleaf flowers…just because!
Now, this is one amazingly unique and creative way to serve the Jollof rice. I am looking forward to trying this and can’t wait to see yours when you try it!
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