Seafood jambalaya

Try out this yummy prawn jambalaya (a close cousin of Spanish paella) tonight. You could even glam it up by adding crab or lobster.

A close cousin of Spanish paella, jambalaya is a Creole dish from the US state of Louisiana, and a melting pot of French, Spanish, African and American cuisines. In the old days just about any edible creature was fair game for this dish. Glam up this seafood version by adding crab or even lobster.



Serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ head of celery, finely diced, leaves reserved for garnishing
  • 1 red capsicum (bell pepper), chopped
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 250g long-grain white rice
  • 2 × 410g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 300g skinned firm white fish fillet, cut into four pieces
  • 8 large raw prawns (uncooked shrimp), peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Preparation 30 minutes

Cooking 35–40 minutes



  1. Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan with a lid.
  2. Sauté the onion, garlic, celery, capsicum, chilli and cumin over medium–low heat for 10–12 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Add the rice and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes in a sieve set over a heatproof measuring jug or bowl to catch the juices. Bring a kettle of water to a boil.
  5. Add the drained tomatoes to the rice mixture. Sprinkle the thyme over the top, stir well and reduce the heat a little.
  6. Make up the tomato juice to 1 litre with boiling water.
  7. Pour over the rice, stir well and bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce the heat, cover the pan with the lid slightly ajar, and gently simmer for 10 minutes.
  9. Season the rice to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  10. Place the fish pieces on top, partly cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes.
  11. Carefully stir the rice and turn the fish over, then add the prawns.
  12. Partly cover and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the prawns have turned pink, the fish pieces are cooked, and the rice is tender. The dish should be moist, not dry.
  13. Remove from the heat, cover tightly and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
  14. Scatter the celery leaves and parsley over the top and serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over.

Per serving: 2184 kJ, 523 kcal, 31 g protein, 17 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 62 g carbohydrate (10 g sugars), 6 g fibre, 391 mg sodium

  • If raw prawns aren't available, you can use cooked peeled prawns. Add them at the very end of cooking just to warm them through, before you leave the dish to stand before serving.
  • Jambalaya is a versatile dish. As well as seafood, it often contains chicken and ham or chopped smoked spicy sausages, such as andouille or chorizo.