Sharae Wynn
Black Initiative Network

Jamaican Rice and Peas

Here’s a little taste of every Jamaican home on a Sunday. Rice and peas (made with kidney beans, but don’t let anyone hear you calling it rice and beans!) is a delicious dish made with white rice and kidney beans cooked in coconut milk and spices that is universally enjoyed in Jamaican homes on a Sunday.

I remember as a child my grandmother or mother would start the preparation the night before, soaking the beans with fresh garlic, salt, black pepper, and more. Yes, it was that serious!

I looked forward to Sundays because of the food and specifically the fluffy, tasty rice and peas that would accompany the main dish they would make. As an adult, it was one of the first things I learned to make because, well, I had to carry on the tradition! Rice and peas is also a favorite side dish for many weekly lunches, but the pots blazed on a Sunday definitely have a special taste and place in all our hearts.

<span-key>2 cups</span-key><span-value>dried red kidney beans </span-value> <span-key>4 cups</span-key><span-value>water </span-value> <span-key>2 tsp</span-key><span-value> fresh pimento berries </span-value> <span-key>1 tsp</span-key><span-value>salt (to taste) </span-value> <span-key>1 tsp</span-key><span-value>black pepper </span-value> <span-key>2</span-key><span-value> large sprigs of fresh thyme </span-value> <span-key>6</span-key><span-value>cloves garlic, peeled and slightly crushed </span-value> <span-key>2-inch</span-key><span-value>piece of fresh ginger, slightly crushed </span-value> <span-key>2 cups</span-key><span-value>coconut milk </span-value> <span-key>1</span-key><span-value>whole green Scotch bonnet pepper </span-value> <span-key>1</span-key><span-value>stalk of fresh scallion </span-value> <span-key>½ tsp</span-key><span-value>all-purpose seasoning/Season-All </span-value> <span-key>5 cups</span-key><span-value>white rice of your choice </span-value>




In a large bowl, cover red kidney beans with 2 cups of water.
Crush 1 tsp of pimento berries.
Mix in salt, black pepper, crushed pimento, 1 sprig of thyme, 3 cloves of garlic, and ginger, and stir into beans.
Soak beans uncovered for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
Pour kidney beans along with water and soaking ingredients into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until beans are tender and can be crushed with a fork. Replenish water if needed. This usually takes about 1-3 hours.
Once the beans are cooked and most of the water has evaporated, pour in coconut milk and allow it to cook for 5 minutes.
Add remaining garlic, pimento, Scotch bonnet pepper, scallion, thyme, and all-purpose seasoning. Add salt to taste if needed. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.
Wash rice and pour into the pot. Ensure there is no more than 1 inch of water above the rice.
Once the mixture begins to boil again, reduce to a low-low heat and cook for 20-30 minutes until rice is tender and all flavors and colors have come together.
Use a fork to fluff the rice and combine it with the peas (most of them may be on the top).
Serve warm with your favorite meat and vegetables.

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Cook It Up:
An Upwork

A Foreword from the
Kitchen of Hayden Brown,
Upwork CEO

I deeply treasure that time around the table with my kids and loved ones. In our household, our kitchen table is a gathering place to share a meal, enjoy each other’s company, reflect on the day and laugh together.

With ‘Cook It Up,’ our Upwork Family Belonging Community has assembled a wonderful collection of recipes that celebrate the rich diversity of cultures we represent at Upwork. I truly enjoyed the personal memories that connect these dishes to the team members who shared them. This is a fun, approachable and sometimes touching look behind the “work curtain” that’s helped me — and I hope will help you — get to know our team even better.

I invite you to take a moment to browse the stories and recipes when you are looking for inspiration, a new way to connect with your colleagues, or just want to try something new. Most of all, I invite you to participate in the celebration of food, family, and life found here in Cook It Up.