March 15, 2008
Making Dominican Yellow Rice with Peas
In many countries rice seems to be the staple food in everyday meals. I am of Dominican
background and rice is cooked four or five days out of the week. There are many ways of making rice
and perhaps this is the reason as to why I have not gotten tired of it throughout the two decades of my
life. A popular kind of rice is “Moro de habichuelas negras” which is rice that is made with black
beans amongst other flavors and ingredients; this rice comes out a brown color and has a lot of flavor.
There is another kind of rice which is called “Locrio”; Locrio can really contain anything in it, it is the
word used when you make rice and put something in it such as meat, cheese or vegetables, for
example “Locrio de pollo” or Locrio made with chicken. Locrio is made by experienced Dominican
cooks who have the talent of making a phenomenon of the scraps they have at home at the time, my
mother is excellent at this. The rice I will be focusing on is “arroz amarillo con guandules” or yellow
rice with peas.
Through fundraising for my sorority, I have really gotten good at cooking Dominican yellow
rice and peas, even in large amounts at a time. Some of the ingredients that are required for this rice
recipe are brand name and sometimes not found in regular American grocery stores, but I will provide
you with some alternatives.
There are two parts to this recipe, and the first part is making our own home made “sofrito”,
which is a blend of vegetables that is added to food for flavoring. The ingredients we will be needing
in order to make sofrito are:
1. 2 Red Peppers
2. 1 Green Pepper or Cubanelle Pepper
3. 10 cloves of garlic
4. 1 onion, about 1 inch radius
5. 1 bunch of cilantro or coriander
6. 4oz. of bitter orange juice (preferably Caridom brand), if not lemon juice is fine.
9. Cutting board
10. Container to store the remainder of the sofrito for future use, the sofrito can be used for
seasoning meat, fish and other foods.
The second part to the recipe is the part where the rice is cooked. The ingredients we will be
needing in order to cook the rice are:
1. A pot which can hold about 7 cups of liquid or more, and its lid.
2. A large spoon
3. 4.5 cups of uncooked white rice. (wash once and rinse)
4. Corn oil
5. Sofrito from prior part of recipe
6. Chicken stock cubes (bouillon) (Preferably Maggi.)
7. 1 packet of Sazon Goya (This is a must)
8. 1 can of peas (about 15.5 oz)
9. 3 oz. tomato sauce
10. 7-8 olives (Optional)
11. 3 teaspoons of salt
Before we begin to cook there are a lot of things to keep in mind; firstly food should never be
left unattended while the stove is on, this is a fire hazard. It is a good practice to use oven mitts when
touching the handle of the pot because some of them are not protected by plastic and can burn the
skin. Leaving the food unattended for too long can cause the food to burn and the meal will be
ruined. Please remember to wash your hands occasionally especially if your hands come into contact
with any of the ingredients. Do not leave knives unattended around children, and lastly use the
cutting board when cutting the vegetables.
This recipe is intended for a moderately skilled audience which means people who are not
completely new to cooking, however the instructions are as detailed as possible.
Instructions for Making Sofrito
1. Cut red peppers and green or cubanelle peppers into 1inch squares.
2. Chop onions in about half inch pieces.
3. Chop each garlic clove in 3 pieces per clove.
4. Chop the cilantro (coriander) completely.
5. Pour 4oz. of bitter orange juice into the blender.
6. Put half of the red pepper, half of the green peppers, all of the garlic cloves, half of the
onions, and half of the cilantro into the blender.
7. Begin by pressing the lowest blending button. In thirty second increments increase the
blending level until the sofrito is blended very well.
8. Add the rest of the ingredients, and repeat the blending instructions from step 7.
9. Pour Sofrito into a container, and store in the refrigerator. The sofrito can even be frozen in
order to keep fresh for longer.
Instructions for Cooking the Rice
1. Place pot on the stove.
2. Pour 5 Table spoons of corn oil into the pot.
3. Turn on the fire. It should be exactly on the middle of the dial if you have a regular stove or
electrical stove (medium heat).
4. Let the oil heat up for about 2.5 minutes.
5. Pour in 6 table spoons of Sofrito.
6. Take the chicken bouillon/cube and crush it with your hands, or place it on a cutting board,
and chop it up with a knife.
7. Put the crushed chicken bouillon into the pot.
8. Add one packet of Sazon Goya into the pot.
9. Put 3 oz of tomato sauce into the pot.
10. Add the 7-8 olives (optional)
11. Add the three teaspoons of salt
12. Let this mixture simmer for about 5 minutes, and stir it occasionally
13. Pour the ingredients of the can of beans into the pot, do not rinse the peas, the peas should
go into the pot with the liquid that is in the can as well.
14. Let this mix simmer as well for about 7-8 minutes while stirring it occasionally. The
indicator towards knowing if you are ready to continue is if the ingredients are bubbling
slightly, let it bubble slightly for about 3-4 minutes.
15. Add 5 cups of water. Higher the flame to about one notch under the highest possible level.
16. Let sit until the ingredients begin to bubble. Let the ingredients bubble for about 5 minutes.
17. Add the 4.5 cups of uncooked white rice into the pot. Stir immediately so that the peas get
evenly distributed into the rice.
18. Lower the fire to about one notch above the middle point on the dial.
19. Let this mixture sit for about 8-10 minutes, or until water is almost all vaporized.
20. Gently fold the rice, be careful not to stir the rice, instead insert spoon into the rice close to
the border of the pot and round into the bottom in order to push the core of the rice
upwards. This is to loosen the grains and so that the moisture can become minimal.
21. Reduce the fire to the second to lowest notch, and cover the pot. It is optional to put
aluminum foil on the lid of the pot because it helps to keep more vapor into the pot.
22. Let sit for ten minutes. Then open and gently fold the rice again.
23. Let sit for about 10 more minutes.
24. Serve the rice.
The finished product should look something like this (just the rice):