Arroz Atollado is a traditional Colombian dish from the Pacific region of the country, which includes the departments of Nariño, Chocó, Cauca, and El Valle del Cauca. This region of Colombia is located on the Pacific Ocean and borders Panama in the north and Ecuador in the south.
There are many different variations of this creamy rice dish, Atollado del Valle (pork rice), Atollado de Pato (duck rice), Atollado de Carne Ahumada (smoked meat rice), Arroz Atollado de Pollo y Chorizo (chicken and chorizo rice), and this Arroz Atollado de Cangrejo o Jaibas (crab rice), to name a few.
Arroz Atollado de Cangrejo o Jaibas is a typical dish from El Guapi, a town located in the Cauca Department. This dish is made with a combination of rice, onions, tomato, peppers, fresh crab, coconut milk, spices, and herbs and it’s comfort in a bowl. I absolutely love the combination of seafood with coconut milk. We have a lot of dishes with this flavor combination in Colombian cuisine, especially on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.
The final consistency of the arroz atollado should be creamy, wet, and sticky. This is a very simple, earthy and rustic dish. It can be adjusted to be served to a small group or a crowd. And it’s usually served with traditional Colombian side dishes such as tajadas de platáno maduro, patacones, avocado slices and ají.
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 1/2 cup organic vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon ground achiote
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 pound fresh-cooked crabmeat
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh cilantro, chopped
- Heat the oil and butter in a medium pot over medium heat.
- dd the onion, scallion, pepper, garlic, and tomatoes. Cook until everything is soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the rice, salt, and pepper and stir until well coated.
- Add the vegetable broth, achiote, coconut milk, and ground cumin. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the rice is just tender.
- Remove from the heat, add the crab meat and stir well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, add fresh cilantro and serve.