Jambalaya is a Creole word which originates from Louisiana’s rural south. Jambalaya is also very similar to the Spanish dish Paella. The origin of the name “jambalaya” is uncertain, and there are many theories surrounding it. Some think jambalaya as the combination of the French word “jambon” meaning ham, the French article “à la” meaning “in the style of” and “ya”, thought by some to be of West African origin meaning rice, though “ya-ya” is also an old Creole patois phrase meaning “everybody’s talking at once.” In any case, I’m just glad it’s here! This recipe comes from the Good Taste magazine.

Serves 8
2 teaspoons olive oil
800g green tiger prawns, peeled with tails intact
4 chorizo sausages, chopped into small chunks
1 onion finely chopped
2 celery sticks sliced diagonally
1 red pepper deseeded and sliced
1 green pepper deseeded and sliced
2 garlic cloves sliced
1 green chili deseeded and thinly sliced
400g (2 cups) basmati rice
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
625ml (2.5 cups) chicken stock
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 dried bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves

Heat the oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add prawns and cook 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add chorizo to the pan and cook 1-2 minutes and transfer to a plate. Add onion to the pan and cook 5 minutes or until golden. Add celery, peppers, garlic and chili. Cook 3-4 minutes. Add chorizo, rice, tomato, stock, Worcestershire, tobasco, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 12 minutes. Top with prawns. Set aside, covered, for 10 minutes to stand. Top with parsley and serve.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: I found that I needed to add a bit more stock as the rice was still a bit too crunchy. Check after cooking 10 minutes to see if more stock is needed. I love dishes that are all cooked in one pan! If you think there might be too much heat then reduce the amount of Tabasco sauce.


  1. Brilynn on November 16, 2006 at 15:06

    This is a dish to make just because it’s fun to say… ok, it’s pretty tasty too, but fun to say!

  2. wheresmymind on November 16, 2006 at 16:31

    No chicken?

  3. Foodie's Hope on November 16, 2006 at 18:11

    Looks wonderful! We ahd a taste of that in New Orleans!

  4. The Culinary Chase on November 17, 2006 at 01:22

    Thanks for your comments. There are a wide variety of ways to make jambalaya, with chicken and sausage, or shrimp, or ham, or even duck or alligator. Some involve tomatoes and tomato sauce, some use chicken or beef stock instead.

    As in any ethnic cooking, different regions claim theirs is the only true jambalaya. Such is the case of Cajun-style jambalayas rather than the tomato-based Creole jambalayas of New Orleans.

    If you ask me, both are delicious! Besides, re-inventing a recipe is half the fun! Cheers!

  5. Bruno on November 17, 2006 at 05:34

    Great looking jambalaya ya!

  6. Anonymous on November 17, 2006 at 22:12

    I’ve never seen Jambalaya look so elegant, and I’d always opt for no chicken, so pretty well perfect.

  7. Lera on November 20, 2006 at 01:39

    jambalaya is an eye catching dish amongst an array of seafood dishes,yours looks Awesome!

  8. The Culinary Chase on November 21, 2006 at 01:06

    Thanks everyone for your kind words. This recipe is quite easy and carries a big ‘wow’ factor when presenting to your guests. As Bruno said, ‘jambalaya ya!’. 🙂