Chef's Recipes

Mark Best: Red rice and egg pilaf

Australian Gourmet Traveller side dish recipe for red rice and egg pilaf by Mark Best.

By Mark Best
  • Serves 6
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 1 hr cooking
Mark Best: Red rice and egg pilaf
Mark Best: Red rice and egg pilaf

Red rice, a wholegrain rice with a deep red husk, is grown in Italy and France and is somewhat like wild rice in texture. It has a complex sweet, nutty, sticky character and can be purchased from quality delicatessens or retailers such as Simon Johnson.


  • 1 tsp each coriander seeds, cumin seeds and white peppercorns
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, finely diced
  • ½ celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 250 gm red rice
  • 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
  • 1 piece orange rind, removed with a peeler
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1 sprig each fresh bay leaf and thyme
  • For deep-frying: olive oil
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup (firmly packed) celery leaves


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 160C. Finely grind spices and 1 tsp sea salt in mortar and pestle, set aside.
  • 2
    Heat a deep-sided ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, onion, celery and garlic, stir occasionally until tender (6-8 minutes). Add rice and reserved spices, stir to combine, then add stock, orange rind, cinnamon and herbs. Bring to a simmer, cover closely with a round of baking paper to fit pan, cover with lid and bake until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed (50-55 minutes). Keep warm.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, preheat oil to 180C in a deep-fryer or deep-sided saucepan. Break half the eggs into oil (be careful as oil will spit) and fry, turning occasionally, until the white turns crisp and golden and the yolks remain soft and runny (1-2 minutes). Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper. Repeat with remaining eggs. Add celery leaves to oil and cook until crisp (1-1½ minutes), then remove and drain on absorbent paper.
  • 4
    Spoon pilaf into a bowl, top with fried eggs, scatter with fried celery leaves, season to taste and serve with <a href="mark-best-chickpea-pancakes.htm">chickpea pancakes</a> and <a href="mark-best-young-rabbit-braised-with-wakame-cashews-and-zucchini.htm">rabbit</a>.


This recipe is from the September 2009 issue of .
Drink Suggestion: A dry, Provençal-style rosé, one without fruit or sweetness but that’s earthy and spicy with a beautiful colour. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • Author: Mark Best