Author: Marvellina
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  • 1 lb cooked crab meat lumps
  • 3 cups of rice (washed and drained)
  • 4 cups of boiling water
  • 4 Tbsp of achiote (Annato) coloring (recipe below) : 2 cups of vegetable oil + 1 cup of achiote seeds
  • 4 oz of lean cured ham (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 3 sweet chili peppers (seeded if you like and chopped)
  • 6 fresh culantro leaves (chopped)
  • 1 green pepper (seeded and chopped)
  • 6 pimento-stuffed olives
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp salt


Preparing for Achiote coloring:

  • Soak the achiote seeds in warm water for about 10 minutes, then drain off water and pat the seeds dry with absorbent paper towel. In a sauce pan, heat about 2 cup of vegetable oil. add in the achiote seeds and stir-fry for about 5 minutes. The oil will turn into rich orange-red color. Strain the oil into a glass container and let it cool off completely. Cover and store in refrigerator and use whenever needed

Preparing the rice:

  • Boil about 4 cup of water in a pot. Meanwhile, in a heavy-bottom pot/kettle, preheat about 2 Tbsp of the achiote coloring. Add in the ham and brown quickly for about 1 minutes. Add in garlic, onion, chili peppers, culantro leaves, and green pepper. Saute for about 10 minutes
  • Add in olives, tomato sauce, salt, and another 2 Tbsp of the achiote coloring and mix everything. Add in the rice and stir to mix over low-medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add in 4 cups of the boiling water. Stir to mix again and bring it back to a boil. Cover with a lid and cook the rice over low heat for about 30 minutes (or longer) or until the rice is fluffy and cooked through. Halfway during this time, uncover the turn the rice. 5 minutes before end of cooking, add in the crab meat and let it cook for another 5 minutes. Uncover and stir to mix everything. The rice should be fluffy and aromatic. Serve immediately


Achiote seeds are available at grocery store at the ethnic section that carries Mexican/Spanish cooking ingredients. If you don't want to use achiote seeds, you can use spice like Hungarian paprika powder to color the rice .