Red Beans and Rice from Jamaica with Love(Peas and Rice)

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Peas and Rice (red beans and rice)

I just got back from a trip with a friend to Jamaica – the lovely Runaway Bay. It was amazing. Of course one one my goals was to eat Jerk Chicken and Red Beans and Rice (they call this peas and rice and I am sure they are right but for some odd reason I have always called this dish red beans and rice). Well, let me tell you -goal acheived!

Another goal was to get an authentic recipe for red beans and rice (aka peas and rice). So I asked a local – who promptly pulled in one of her co-workers telling me she is an awesome cook. She recounted the way she makes it and I am going to tell you… so lucky.

I will give this authentic recipe for red beans and rice a try next week. Of course the proportions are all made up by me so it may need some tweaking… She gave me the recipe but obviously does all by feel/sight/memory just like all good cooks and grandmothers everyweher


Red kidney beans (dried) – around 1 cup


coconut milk (1-2 cans)

scotch bonnet pepper (one whole fresh one)

long grain white rice – 1 cup

brown sugar 1-2 tablespoons

Thyme (I have no idea how much – go by feel on this one 1 teaspoon? 1 tablespoon? your guess is as good as mine)

Scallions – 1 or two skinned and smushed but not chopped

So, by her telling, the key ingredients are coconut milk and brown sugar. I have seen some other recipes with garlic but the one I got while actually standing IN Jamaica did not have garlic mentioned… it may be worth trying both ways to see which you prefer.

Directions for Red Beans and Rice

So I have seen recipes that say soak the beans overnight in water then boil… my lovely Chef told me just to boil the dry beans and keep adding water and boiling until they are soft and you can smash them with a fork.

Then drain the water and add all other ingredients and just enough coconut milk to cover rice without it coming through the surface.

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what the recipe looked like at this stage

Boil like you would with rice and that is it. Take out the whole hot pepper and scallions, mix and serve. I served this one with Jerk Chicken – I used the Memories of Montego Bay PC premade sauce – it is spicy! so be careful only use a bit at a time till you know what you like – this time I used a whole bottle on 6 whole chicken legs (skin on) and it was a bit too burning for my hubby (I liked it though!) cut it with sour cream if you need to put out the fire!

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Easy and delicious – even better on legs and BBQ in the summer
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This time I just baked it but it was a bit hot… go with less sauce and brush on and have some on the side if needed.

All I did was dump the sauce on the chicken and bake at 375 F for 45 mins to an hour… so easy. If you want to try to make your own Jerk Chicken check out these recipes:

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken