Congolese Yellow Rice, Fish, and Red Sauce
As Ariane Kambu Mbenza from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, taught Lindsay Sterling in Yarmouth, ME, in May 2013.
Active Time: 1 hr 15 min
2.5 pounds whole Tilapia
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp + 1 Tbsp dried parsley
2 + 2 + 2 Maggi cubes (for no msg, use 1 tsp Better than Bouillon per Maggi cube)
2 Tbsp + 1/2 cup + 2 cups vegetable oil or red African palm oil
2 pounds carrots, peas, and green beans cut into bite size pieces (she used a frozen medley)
4 cups basmati rice
3 Tbsp butter
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp super hot dried chili powder (optional)
2 tsp turmeric
10 cloves chopped garlic (2 Tbsp)
16 oz. tomato puree
Congolese Shallow-Fried Tilapia
Cut heads off 2.5 pounds tilapia. Rub bodies with oil, 1 Tbsp parsley, and 2 crumbled Maggi cubes. Let marinate for 6 hours or over night. Fill a fry pan 1/4 inch deep with oil. Bring oil up to medium-low heat. Gently place fish pieces in oil with plenty of space around each (if the pan is crowded, the skins won't get crispy). Let fish cook slowly (about 20 minutes) so you don't burn the outside while the inside is still raw. I would say she had her heat on medium low and her fish cooked for 10 minutes a side. The skins were golden all around and crispy. Delicious!
Congolese Yellow Rice With Vegetables
Congolese Red Sauce That's Good with Everything
Pour enough oil in a small saute pan to be about 1/4 inch deep, add thin slices from 1 onion. Saute on medium-low for 20-30 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp chopped garlic. Continue cooking. You don't want to brown the onions, just get them softer and softer, so adjust your heat accordingly. Add 16 oz. tomato puree, 1 Tbsp parsley flakes, 1/2 tsp dried piri piri or birds-eye chili powder (lighter in color and much hotter than the chili powder at your American supermarket). As the onions continue to cook they will disintegrate into the tomato puree. Disappearing onions is the secret to the sauce! Add 2 crumbled Maggi cubes or 2 tsp Better than Bouillon. Sauce is done when onions have disappeared and the sauce is smooth. (FYI, this sauce is great with rice, fried, chicken, potato, seafood, anything!)
Serve a big pile of rice on half the plate. Next to that, a nice piece of fish, and a pile of the red sauce on the last third of the plate.
Copyright Lindsay Sterling 2013