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Portuguese Tomato Rice ❦ Arroz de Tomate Malandrinho

If I had to choose a bowl of rice to eat forever, this would be it. I have never in my life eaten better tomato rice than my mother's. In Portugal, this rice is usually served alongside all sorts of fried fish dishes. It just pairs so beautifully with it. Next time you make fried fish, such as battered cod, try this tomato rice recipe. You won't be disappointed. I have added a few ingredients that are not quite in the traditional recipe, but that I feel enhance the rice's flavour. They are Balsamic vinegar and ginger. I love that you'd never guess they were in there, yet elevate the rice's flavour to soaring heights. You can use plain water or vegetable stock for the rice, but I prefer chicken stock. This is really up to personal preference and whether or not you want it to be vegetarian. Malandrinho in Portuguese literally means "naughty", but we use it to mean" with lots of broth or soupy". The rice is served with plenty of flavourful stock and garnished with coriander (cilantro) or parsley. That said, it is a very forgiving recipe, since I receive hundreds of emails on how to cook rice perfectly, this one takes the guesswork out of the equation. I served mine with Portuguese salt cod fritters, Pasteis de bacalhau, copy and paste recipe link here:


Enjoy xoxo

Arroz de Tomate Malandrinho ❦ Portuguese Style Tomato Rice

Serves 6

Approx: 40 minutes

225 g. Long grain, parboiled (easy cook) rice,

( In Portugal the short grain "Carolino" rice variety is preferred, but if you can't find it, then use any short grain rice such as paella "bomba" rice)

720 ml. Chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water

1 can, (400g.) Chopped tomatoes in their juice ( canned tomatoes are always perfectly ripe, seedless and skinless, perfect )

1 tbsp. Concentrated tomato paste

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

60 ml. Extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. Ground ginger

1 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar (optional)

1 tbsp. Red wine vinegar ( this is obligatory)

1 Bay leaf

1 Bunch coriander or parsley leaves, chopped to finish. (I usually throw in the stalks, finely chopped, to the cooking rice. Feel free to substitute for flat-leaf parsley)

Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a medium saucepan, on low heat, add olive oil and sauté onion, garlic, and bay leaf for 5 minutes, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn't burn. Add tomato paste and let fry gently for 30 seconds.

2. Add rice, canned tomatoes, coriander, or parsley stalks very finely chopped, ginger, vinegars, and the 3 cups of stock or water. Stir and increase heat to medium. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Let the rice simmer with a lid, but vented so that steam can escape, for 20-25 minutes, stirring every now and then. Test for doneness at around 20 minutes.

4. After the rice is cooked, discard bay leaf and add chopped coriander leaves, and serve immediately.

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