Big Zuu Recipes: Make Dinner Fun With 3-Course Fusion



Wif he is not in the studio or on the set of his show Big Zuu’s big dishes, Big Zuu is in the kitchen. Drawing on his Sierra Leonean heritage and love of classic snacks, Big Zuu brings his passion for food to every meal.

Here are three recipes from her new cookbook to add to your repertoire, including an innovative take from PB&J.

Big Zuu Jollof rice balls with scotch bonnet sauce

A cross between West African and Italian cuisine

(Ellis Parrinder / PA)

“We took the most African dish and gentrified it – but don’t worry, my Sierra Leonean elders gave me a pass, and it tastes great too. It’s an embodiment of my love for West African and Italian cuisine, ”says Big Zuu. “Finally, they came together to create this powerful ball of flavor. “


400g leftover jollof rice from Mumma Zuu (see below)

60g mozzarella, cut into 8 pieces and drained well

1.5 L of vegetable oil, for frying (if using a saucepan; if using a deep fryer, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the oil)

50g plain flour

2 eggs, beaten

50 g panko breadcrumbs

1 quantity of scotch bonnet sauce (see below)

For Mumma Zuu’s jollof rice:

800 g leg of lamb, diced

3 tablespoons all-purpose seasoning

1L of vegetable oil, for frying

1 onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1-2 scotch bonnet peppers, depending on your degree of spiciness, chopped or whole

4 tablespoons of tomato paste

600 g Italian tomatoes, chopped

4 Maggi or other vegetable stock cubes, crushed

2 bay leaves

A pinch of white pepper and ground black pepper

500g rinsed basmati rice


For the scotch bonnet sauce:

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1-2 scotch bonnet peppers, to taste, pricked

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2.5 cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated

800 g chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

1 tablespoon of powdered sugar

2 Maggi or other vegetable stock cubes

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste


1. Prepare the jollof rice: Toss the lamb in two tablespoons of all-purpose seasoning. Place in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 40 minutes to an hour until just tender, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Drain the lamb, reserving the cooking juices. Pat the lamb pieces dry on paper towels.

2. Preheat the oil in a deep fryer to 170 ° C or heat the oil in a deep saucepan over medium-high heat to 170 ° C. Then, working in batches, carefully fry the pieces of lamb for two to three minutes until golden brown and crisp all over. Drain on absorbent paper and set aside.

3. Heat the three tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large casserole dish and add the onion. Cook 10-15 minutes over medium heat until the onion is golden, then add the garlic, scotch bonnets, tomato paste and the rest of the all-purpose seasoning. Cook for two more minutes before adding the tomatoes, bouillon cubes, bay leaves, salt and a pinch each of black and white pepper. Simmer for five minutes before adding the rice and cooked lamb.

4. Measure the remaining cooking broth from the lamb into a jug. You need 850 ml – if there is not enough, top up with water. Stir it into the rice, cover with aluminum foil, put the lid on and lower the heat to low. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and let the rice sit, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes before serving – or set aside for scoops of jollof.

5. Prepare the scotch bonnet sauce: add the oil to a saucepan and sauté the onion over medium heat for 15 minutes until tender and begins to caramelize. Add the peppers, garlic and ginger and sauté for another two to three minutes before adding the tomatoes, three tablespoons of water, vinegar, sugar and stock cubes. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook 25 minutes until a thick and spicy sauce. Mix until a smooth sauce is obtained using a food processor or hand blender.

6. Divide the leftover jollof into eight patties. Take a patty in the palm of your hand and place a piece of mozzarella in the center. Wrap the rice around with your hand and form a ball. Repeat with the rest of the balls and place in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes.

7. Preheat the oil in a deep fryer to 170 ° C or heat the oil in a deep saucepan over medium-high heat to 170 ° C.

8. Place the flour, beaten eggs and panko in three shallow dishes. Roll each rice ball in the flour, then the egg then the panko, coat well.

9. Gently drop the rice balls into the deep fryer or pan and, working in batches, fry them for three to four minutes until golden brown. Drain well on paper towels and serve immediately with Scotch Bonnet sauce.

Big Zuu’s Big Bang Broccoli Recipe

Crispy fried broccoli in chili oil

(Ellis Parrinder / PA)

“You know anything called ‘big bang’ is going to be peng,” Big Zuu said. “I love broccoli, but when it’s fried and covered in gravy with extra sprinkles on the side, I sometimes feel like I’m getting broccoli. I love you, brocc.

Makes: 2 servings


1.5 L of vegetable oil, for frying (if using a saucepan; if using a deep fryer, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the oil)

2 large eggs, beaten

½ teaspoon of five Chinese spices

60g of cornstarch

100 g of broccoli florets or tender stems

60 g panko breadcrumbs

Flaky sea salt

For the dipping sauce:

100g mayonnaise

1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce

1 teaspoon of crispy chili oil

1 tablespoon of sriracha (hot sauce)

To garnish:

2 spring onions, sliced

1 red pepper, sliced


1. Preheat the oil in a deep fryer to 180 ° C or heat the oil in a deep saucepan over medium-high heat to 180 ° C.

2. Combine all the ingredients for the dip in a bowl and set aside.

3. Beat the eggs, five spices and two-thirds of the cornstarch to form a smooth paste. Season with a pinch of salt.

4. When the oil is hot, working in batches, first toss the broccoli into the remaining cornmeal, then coat with batter, then add breadcrumbs to coat lightly. Place carefully in the oil. Fry one minute, turning if necessary, until the breadcrumbs are golden.

5. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.

6. Season with flaky sea salt, garnish with spring onions and chili and serve with the dip.

Big Zuu PBJ Cheesecake Recipe

Big Zuu claims this cheesecake is “mouth watering heaven”

(Ellis Parrinder / PA)

“I don’t think it’s better than taking classic snacks and combining them with other classic snacks,” Big Zuu says.

“I’ve always wondered how far can we go PBJ. Well, my friend, we’ve taken it to the next level. This jam on peanut butter cheesecake is basically heaven for the palate.

Makes: 6-8 servings


Vegetable oil, for greasing

150g of digestive biscuits

75 g of melted butter

½ teaspoon of salt

170g smooth peanut butter

225g cream cheese

100g caster sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

225 ml double cream

40 g icing sugar, sifted

60g frozen raspberries

100g seedless raspberry jam

40g crushed salted peanuts


1. Grease a 20 cm springform pan with vegetable oil. To make the base, put the cookies in a plastic food bag and crush them into fine breadcrumbs using a rolling pin or in a food processor until crumbly, then stir in the melted butter and salt to make a sandy mixture.

2. Using a spoon, push it into the bottom of the mold to obtain a smooth and even base. Place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

3. Using a stand mixer or hand whisk, combine peanut butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and well combined. In a separate bowl, lightly whip the cream and icing sugar until very lightly whipped, then fold into the cream cheese mixture and mix until well combined.

4. Pour the filling into the pan and spread it over the base to form a smooth, even layer. Refrigerate four to six hours in the refrigerator.

5. To pour the jam, heat the frozen raspberries and jam together in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook for about five minutes until thickened, then remove from heat and let cool completely in a bowl.

6. When ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from the mold, drizzle with the jam and sprinkle with peanuts.

Recipes from ‘Big Zuu’s Big Eats’ by Big Zuu (Ebury Press, priced at £ 22; photograph by Ellis Parrinder), now available.



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