Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for rice and peas with mint and sesame oil | Vegan food and drink

Today’s recipe is the love child of Italian risi e bisi and my beloved congee. Risi e bisi is a tender, starchy Venetian rice and fresh pea soup that’s traditionally served to mark the start of spring (and St Mark’s Day), while congee is a thickish, soothing rice-soup of sorts that can be served in multiple ways. Here, I’ve taken elements of both: arborio rice and peas from Italy, cooked in a miso and ginger broth and topped with a fresh mint, vinegar and sesame oil, to create close to my perfect comfort food and the best of many worlds.

Rice and peas with mint and sesame oil

Prep 10 min
Cook 35 min
Serves 4

3 tbsp white miso paste
Rapeseed oil
spring onions (ie, about 14), trimmed and finely sliced
1 tsp fine sea salt
250g arborio risotto rice
5cm x 2cm piece root ginger
, peeled and grated
200g frozen petit pois, defrosted
¼ tsp white pepper
40g fresh mint
, leaves picked and finely chopped
2 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp toasted sesame oil

First make a stock. Put the miso in a large jug, pour over a litre and a half of just-boiled water, stir and put to one side.

Put four tablespoons of oil in a casserole pot on a medium heat and, once it’s hot, add the sliced spring onions and salt, and cook, stirring, for three or four minutes, until softened. Add the rice and ginger, stir to coat the rice in the oil, then pour in the miso stock and bring to a simmer.

Turn down the heat and leave to cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.

Add the peas, cook for a further five minutes, then stir in the white pepper. By this point, the rice should be starchy but creamy, soft and almost soupy.

While the rice is cooking, make the mint and sesame oil. Put the mint, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil and a tablespoon of rapeseed oil in a small bowl and stir to combine.

Distribute the rice between bowls, spoon some of the mint and sesame oil over the top and serve.

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