Peppercorn & Lime Rice from On The Side

By Mieke

I am a self professed book hoarder. Given my situation and the state of the world I’ve been able to cut back on a lot of stuff, like using half the electricity, gas and water, and only having to take out the trash once every 2 weeks, largely due to the smell, but not because my trash can is full.

The one thing I cannot seem to cut back on is books. This is all books, but books in relation to the Dutch East Indies and cookbooks in particular.

On The Side

Dutch as I am, then I also love a sale, so when I saw Ed Smith’s On The Side at the American Book Center in The Hague a while ago, I had to have it.

It has since become the most heavily bookmarked cookbook I ever owned. I don’t know why more people aren’t writing cookbooks about side dishes, but On The Side is a genius list of simple, mostly vegetable based side dishes. Including explanations on what to have them with, or how to combine them to make a full meal.

I’m in love with this book and I basically cannot stop cooking from it. There’s never an occasion where you don’t need a side now, is there?

Variations on three peppercorn wild rice

The first recipe I cooked, and cooked again and again and again, from On The Side, is this 3 peppercorn wild rice dish. Sometimes I’ll make it with plain or brown rice. Sometimes I’ll use the leftovers in a salad with some beans, chicken and cilantro, sometimes I’ll have it for lunch with some fried eggs and my hot-tingle mapo hot sauce, sometimes I’ll switch the eggs out for crispy oven-baked tofu puffs. Basically, it works with everything. As long as you like it hot.

I did switch out the lemon for lime and one of the peppercorns for Indonesian andaliman pepper, since that’s what I had laying around, but you can basically pick and mix from your own cupboard.

Peppercorn and lime rice

Dorothy Porker
This three peppercorn and lime rice from Ed Smith's On The Side is delicious and punchy and will make any meal more festive and fancy.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Side dish, Sides
Cuisine Asian
Servings 2


  • Rice cooker OR
  • Heavy bottomed small (sauce)pan with a lid
  • Fine sieve, optional
  • Pestle and mortar or spice/ coffee grinder


  • 1 c - 225 gr wild rice plain (non-stick) rice will also work
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 t - 5 gr black peppercorns
  • 1 t - 5 gr Sichuan peppercorns black seeds removed
  • 1 t - 5 gr Andaliman peppercorns if you can't find these pink or green peppercorns are nice as well
  • salt to taste


Methods for cooking the rice

  • Rinse and wash your rice thoroughly until any added water runs clear.
  • Cook 1 c - 225 gr of rice in a rice cooker, according to your manufacturer's instructions.
  • Alternatively cook 1 c - 225 gr of rice in a heavy bottomed (sauce)pan with ample water by bringing it to the boil, lid on, and then leaving it to simmer for 3 minutes less than the packet instructions prescribe. Strain the rice and place it back in the saucepan, lid on, and leave to sit for another 3 minutes for perfectly fluffy rice. This is Ed Smith's method.
  • Place 1 c - 225 gr of rice in a heavy bottomed (sauce)pan. Add water until the rice sits 1 index phalanx deep in water. Bring to a boil on a medium heat with the lid on. Leave to cook for 5 minutes. Move to the lowest heat you have and steam for another 15 minutes for perfectly fluffy rice. This is the Asian method that I learned from my grandmother.

To finish the rice

  • While your rice is cooking, grind together 1 t - 5 gr of each of the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar and squeeze out the juice of 1 lime.
  • Once the rice is cooked, fluff it up with a fork and stir in the peppercorn mixture, lime juice and salt to taste.
Keyword cookbook recipe, ed smith, on the side, rice, side dish, side dishes

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