Ceebu Jen (Senegalese Fish with Rice and Vegetables) Recipe-
- 2 lb. fish fillets, chopped into bite-sized chunks (use a firm fleshed fish, like snapper, cod, or mahi mahi)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3 Scotch Bonnet hot chili peppers, chopped fine
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- Freshly ground coarse sea salt and black peppercorns, to taste
- ¼ cup red palm oil
- 2 onions, peeled and rough chopped
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/8” thick rounds
- ½ head cabbage, cut into thin wedges
- ½ lb. pumpkin or winter squash, peeled and cut into ½” to ¾” cubes
- 1 eggplant, peeled and cut into ¾” cubes
- 2 cup uncooked white rice
- 3 lemons, cut into wedges
- 3 oz. smoked, dried fish, especially good are sprats
- 3 oz. escargot snails
- Combine the parsley, salt, pepper, garlic, and chili peppers, and then rub the mixture all over the fish fillets. Scrape off any excess seasoning mixture and reserve.
- In a large, deep pot, over medium high heat, heat up the palm oil. When the oil is hot, add in the reserved seasoning mixture, stir, and then place the fish in to sauté. Also add into the pot the snails and sprats. Sauté until the fish is nicely browned on all sides, and then remove to a plate and set aside.
- Now add the chopped onions into the hot oil and sauté until cooked through and just beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and about ¼ cup of water. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir in the stock or water, carrots, cabbage, pumpkin and eggplant and simmer over medium heat for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked through and tender. Add the browned fish and simmer for another 15 minutes or so. Remove the fish and vegetables and about 1 cup of the broth to a platter, cover and set in a warm oven.
- Strain the remaining broth, discarding the solids. Add enough water to the broth to make 4 cups and return to heat. Bring the broth to a boil, stir in the rice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and tender.
- Spread the cooked rice out in a large serving platter, then spread the vegetables and fish around in the center of the rice. Lastly, pour the remaining broth over everything. Garnish with lemon wedges.
- To serve your Ceebu Jen, provide hot, moist towels for everyone, to wash their hands. Place the large serving platter in the center of the table (or on the floor, if you really want to do it up in true, authentic Senegalese cuisine fashion) and everyone eats the Ceebu Jen with their hands from the same central platter.