Rice and Peas – Jennifer Ho’s childhood Jamaican dish and go-to party side dish

rice and peas 2Serves 8 to 10, can be halved

2 cans of kidney beans, or 1 lb of dried beans (if selecting the dried option, you will need to soak these the night before and cook them for at least 30-60 minutes before proceeding with the recipe below)

2 cups of rice

1 can of coconut milk

3-4 sprigs of green onion

1 teaspoon of thyme (dried) or 6-8 sprigs of fresh thyme

½ teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon oil (canola or olive)


  1. Heat the oil in a stock pot or Dutch oven until glistening.
  2. Add rice and stir until all are covered in oil, about 5 minutes
  3. Add salt and thyme and stir into rice.
  4. Open cans of kidney beans and rinse in a colander. Add to pot (or if working with dried beans that you have soaked, drain and rinse and add to pot).
  5. Add liquid: This should be a combination of coconut milk and water so that it adds up to 3 cups.
  6. Stir rice, beans, liquid together and add green onions.
  7. Bring to a boil and then once it has reached a boil, lower to a simmer.
  8. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for an additional 5 minutes.

Jennifer Ho is an associate professor in the department of English and comparative literature.

Read the essay “Feeling Frank” and watch a video of her making rice and peas.

Want another recipe? Check out this dish: Carolina Clam Chowder Down-East Style.