Liberian Cuisine ' Jollof Rice, Fried Rice, and Dry Rice'

Liberians are known for their love of rice. The saying “you must be Liberian if you can’t go a day without eating rice” shows how much Liberians love rice.

Rice is the staple crop of Liberia which is widely eaten on a daily basic across the country. It can be eaten with many soups like Cassava Leaf, Palm butter, Palava Sauce, Potato Greens etc. (please see previous blog for more information); rice can also be eaten without soup, for instant, Jollof Rice, Fried Rice, and Dry Rice. The methods of cooking these three dishes are simple, put all ingredients needed to make a soup in the rice and cook everything together. Two of these dishes are broadly known across Africa, Jollof Rice and Fried Rice, although every country has it own way of preparing them; Dried Rice is an exclusive Liberian dish.

Liberian Jollof Rice

Originally from Senegal, Jollof rice is now a staple dish of many West African countries, including Liberia, with regional variations. Typically made with meat or Chicken, it also can be vegetarian by leaving out the meat and chicken. What set Liberian Jollof rice apart from other countries is the substantial amount of meats and vegetables. The question of which country has the best Jollof Rice is currently a debatable trend within the African Community.

Liberian Fried Rice

What makes Fried Rice different from Jollof Rice is the cooking process. When cooking Fried Rice, the Rice is fry in vegetable oil, instead of putting it in a precooked stew. Also, unlike the Jollof Rice, tomato paste isn’t added in fried rice, reason while Fried Rice is much clearer in color compare to Jollof Rice. Much like the Jollof Rice, Fried rice is also made with meat, Chicken and lots of vegetables; it can be vegetarian as well.

Liberian Dry Rice

The phrase “Dry Rice” will have you thinking the rice itself is dry, but that’s not the case, Dry Rice is actual moist once prepared the right way. The dish can be simple and rich, it depends on the ingredients and how much is used to prepare it. Cooking Dry Rice is easy and straight forward, just cook the rice with vegetables like okra, garden egg, kettle, pepper etc. and add a pinch of salt. Luncheon meat, sardines, sausages, seasoning etc. can be added once the rice has no more water; stir everything together at the end and add more seasoning if needed.  Dry Rice can be eaten with Palm oil, Kennel oil, vegetable oil, etc., as well as fried or baked fish, fried or baked chicken and pepper sauce.