Thursday, May 20, 2010

Arroz Amarillo Cubano (Cuban Yellow Rice)

Before I begin let me tell you this is the most plain basic recipe of cuban yellow rice well cubans just call it yellow rice but I know other cultures have yellow rice to and do it differently.

This is my grandmothers from my fathers side recipe.

This is sort of the base recipe you can built on it. I will go into detail with that at the very bottom of the recipe. Read everything before critiquing it for being to simple :)

-3 cups long-grain white rice
-4 1/2 cups water
-1 red or green bell pepper minced (I prefer red for this dish but I only had green in the fridge today)
-1 onion minced
-4-6 cloves garlic crushed and minced
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1 bay leave (optional)
-1/2- 1 teaspoons "Bijol" (which is what I use) or "Ground Achiote/ Annato seeds" or "saffron" or "Achiote infused Olive Oil" (the achiote infused olive oil should be used to sautee everything and it will make the rice yellow)
-Salt to taste (about 2-3 teaspoons)
-extra-virgin olive oil

(1)Sift the rice if you wish to get rid of any little grains or impurities, then wash the rice in cold water once or if you wish until water runs clear. Drain.

(2)Put rice in rice cooker with water

(3)Heat extra-virgin olive oil on medium high in a frying pan and sautee bell peppers, onions, and garlic until onions are translucent and everything is fragrant. Add to rice.
(4)Add to the rice mixture cumin, salt to taste, and bijol stirring until the water looks yellowish or yellowish orange(5)Close rice cooker and set on cook until rice is done.
You can serve with anything that you would eat with white rice :)


(1) You can make this rice dish more beautiful and colorful by adding 1 cup of frozen peas. And then garnish with fire roasted red bell peppers (optional) I've also noticed some cooks like to add 1 teaspoon of sweet or hot paprika (my grandmother never used Paprika for this)

(2) You can add 1 can of pigeon peas and call it "Arroz Con Gandules" sometimes she would brown cubed pork that has been seasoned and browned in a pan along with the pigeon peas. This was her version of the Puerto Rican "Arroz Con Gandules"

(3) You can add little cubes of pork or chicken that have been seasoned with some salt and pepper or salt, pepper, lime, and garlic then browned in olive oil add added to the rice to cook together. Then it will be a very simple "Arroz Con Pollo" or "Arroz Amarillo Con Carne de Puerco"

(4) You can add peeled, deviened cleaned shrimp to the rice and then it is "Arroz Amarillo Con Camarones" or even clams or a mixture of seafood. If making with shrimp I suggest you peel your own shrimp and make a shrimp stock by boiling the shrimp shells with some water and salt until it gets the shrimp flavor.

(5) You can also add some corn cobs cut in 3 parts to the rice before it cooks and cook together it will give the rice a corn flavor and is delicous. This is called "Arroz Amarillo Con Maiz"

(6) You can also add any vegetables particularily blanched okra or sliced carrots or any seasonal vegetable and call it "Arroz Amarillo Con Vegetales"

(7) To elaborate the flavor you can use the plain recipe and substitute water for chicken stock or vegetable stock. Also shrimp stock is tastey to (made by boiling shrimp shells in water with some salt until the water gets the FLAVOR)

(8) You can add a can of chickpeas for "Arroz Amarillo Con Garbanzos" (yellow rice and chickpeas) or you can sautee 4 links of Spanish chorizo in the sofrito for (arroz amarillo con chorizo) or a combination of both for my "Arroz Amarillo Con Garbanzos y Chorizo"

(9) "Arroz Amarillo Con Salchichas" (yellow rice with veinna sausage added)

(9) But sometimes I just like to make the basic because it goes with any Cuban dish, and because I love eating it with some beans :)

This recipe is a re-post of a recipe I had in my archives, while editing and playing around with it I deleted some of the old pictures so I had to re-post it, plus I didn't think the old post gave it justice because the pictures were worse than what I have here.


I.M. said...

Ha Ha Nathan, we were both making rice today! Your rice looks really good. I'm going to be posting your way or making white rice soon.

momgateway said...

I miss this...looks delicious...need to make this soon

Mamey said...

And you can always replace some of the water with beer or vino seco.

IDania said...

As a good cuban, I looooooooooooove rice!!! This "arroz amarillo" you have prepared looks excellent and I bet it tasted delicious!!!!

YayaOrchid said...

Again, your pictures have made me hungry, LOL! You are without a doubt an excellent chef!

May I ask what is in the last photo? They look like 'charales' to me, which are a dried or dehydrated fish sold in Mexican markets. Very tasty too! But I'm not sure, so I just had to ask.

Nathan said...

Thanks, it's been forever that I made some "Arroz Amarillo"

Tell me how you like it :)

Usually only when I make it with chicken will I replace water with some beer.

Gracias :D

What I served it with was some what Cubans call "Majuas" but yeah it's the same fish used to make "Charales" which in english is called "Smelt" I seasoned them with garlic, salt, a bit of lime, then tossed in flour and deep-fried. The beans "Frijol Peruano/ Canario" or "Mayocabo" beans prepared in a Cuban fashion and dressed it with a sofrito w/ tomato (garlic, onion, bell pepper, and tomato sauteed in olive oil, added cumin, bay leave, pinch of oregano, salt, and a tablespoon of vinegar and teaspoon of sugar. Being part MExican and with Cuban heritage sometimes I'll prepare Pinto beans or Peruvian beans the same I way I do CUban black beans it's sooo good!

Anonymous said...

im confused....when i made it with that much liquid it came out mushy. Am i doing something wrong? can it be my rice cooker?

Nathan said...

Hmmm... perhaps it's the rice cooker or type of rice used? I suggest following the recipe but use the rice to water ratio you are accustomed to with your rice cooker. Also be sure to wash and drain the raw rice prior to cooking.