Seafood Rice with Carrots

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Seafood Rice with Carrots

My version of the seafood rice medley is fragrant, succulent, moist and palate teasingly velvety. It's a winner for any occasion but especially in autumn and winter when you'd like to treat your guests to a delectible, warm light yet subtly hearty dish. Here is the secret to it's success: you will need a whole pound of carrots and while it's labor intensive to julienne them all they transform an ordinary rice dish into this delightful flavorful concoction. They contribute sweet, earthy notes and also result in the rice having a beautiful golden hue. Cook them slowly with diced onion until they are almost soft, then mix with your choice of seafood. That and good quality sushi rice are the secret to creating the most fragrant, succulent and delicious rice dish.  For seafood I like to use wild-caught shrimp and calamari cut into rings. You can also try it in the surf & turf variation and add diced chicken thighs or even pork mixed with shrimp; really anything goes. Lately I’ve been obsessed with using spicy harissa sauce from Mina in all my recipes (I buy mine at Whole Foods). It really adds an interesting  balance of spiciness and contangentenial suble taste to all my dishes but if you prefer, use Siracha instead.  Cover seafood and vegetable mixture with rice and water, sprinkle saffron thread and cook until all the liquid is absorbed by rice, about 20-25 minutes. Serve hot with chopped scallion on top and watch your guests' reaction!

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Ingredients: carrots, onion, shrimp, calamari, sushi rice, spicy harissa sauce, fish sauce, sunflower oil, garlic clove, saffron threads, sea salt.

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I like using fresh seafood in this dish like wild-caught large shrimp and calamari bodies with few tentacles. But it will taste great if you mix shrimp and chicken or even pork.

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Cut carrots into three equal parts horizontally, then slice each half into thin planks.

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Julienne planks into thin strips. Set aside. Cut shrimp into 3 pieces.

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Dice white onions roughly.

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Wild-caught shrimp.

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Peel and devine the shrimp.

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There is a black line of intestines running along shrimp's spine which is easy to remove with the tip of the knife. Glide the knife along the spine and remove it.

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Cut shrimp into 3 pieces.

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Cut calamari into medium-sized rings.

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Heat some oil in Dutch oven over medium heat, add carrots and onions, season with salt.

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Add harissa sauce and cook for 10-12 minutes until carrots and onions are softened but not burnt, stirring constantly.

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Add garlic and mix it with vegetables.

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Then add shrimp seasoned with salt and pepper, add 1 tablespoon of fish sauce.

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Mix seafood with vegetables.

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This dish was inspired by my mom's rice recipe with meat, another staple from post-Soviet Union countries, I grew up eating.

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Scatter rice over shrimp and vegetable mixture; slowly pour water on top to cover the rice (there should be 1/8 inch of water over rice), drizzle remaining fish sauce, scatter saffron and season lightly with salt.

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Cover the lid and cook for 20-25 minutes on medium-low heat until liquid is absorbed by rice completely. Turn of the heat and let it stand for 10 more minutes, don’t stir.

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Serve with freshly sliced scallions.

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Bon Appétit!
Svitlana

Seafood Rice with Carrots

recipe details

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. medium carrots
  • 2 large yellow onions, medium diced
  • 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 1 lb. calamari, plus 8 tentacles, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 2 cups sushi rice, rinsed well
  • 3 cups boiled water
  • 2 tablespoons spicy harissa sauce (I like Mina brand)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • ¾ cup sunflower oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads
  • Sea salt

Directions

  1. Cut carrots into three equal parts horizontally, then slice each half into thin planks. Julienne planks into thin strips. Set aside. Cut shrimp into 3 pieces.
  2. Heat some oil in Dutch oven over medium heat, add carrots and onions, season with salt. Add harissa sauce and cook for 10-12 minutes until carrots and onions are softened but not burnt, stirring constantly.  Add more oil if the pot becomes dry. Then add shrimp, season with salt, add 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and mix it with vegetables. Scatter rice over shrimp and vegetable mixture in a single layer; slowly pour water on top to cover the rice (there should be ½ inch of water over rice), even it out with the spatula. Drizzle remaining fish sauce, scatter saffron and season lightly with salt. Cover the lid and cook for 20-25 minutes on medium-low heat until liquid is absorbed by rice completely. Turn off the heat and let it stand for 10 more minutes, don’t stir. Serve with freshly sliced scallions.

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