Arroz Atollado de Cangrejo

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Arroz Atollado de Cangrejo is a dish attributed to have originated in the town of El Guapi, located in the Cauca Department of Colombia. This national favorite and traditional dish is made with a combination of rice, tomato onions, peppers, coconut milk, fresh crab and an assortment of herbs and spices.

Arroz Atollado de Cangrejo

(Photo Attributed to Author: Cayetano Delgado)

If you are looking for a nice serving of “comfort food” look no further than Arroz Atollado de Cangrejo.

Arroz Atollado de Cangrejo Recipe-

  • 1 lb. fresh crab meat
  • 2 tbsp. scallion infused olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 scallions, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 bell peppers, 1 red and 1 yellow, cored, seeded, and rough chopped
  • 6 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and rough chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. ground achiote (an absolute must have spice ingredient, for true Colombian cuisine authenticity)
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  1. Heat the oil and butter together in a medium-sized cooking pot over medium heat.
  2. Add in the scallions, onion and garlic, and crab meat. Sauté until crab meat is browned and the onions and garlic are fragrant and browning.
  3. Remove the crab from the pot, set it aside in a bowl for now, then add in the bell peppers and tomatoes. Cook about 5 minutes, or until everything is nicely softened.
  4. Now add the the rice, salt and pepper and stir the rice through the mixture until thoroughly coated.
  5. Next, add in the coconut milk, vegetable broth, ground cumin and achiote, and again stir well.
  6. Bring everything to a vigorous boil for about 5 minutes, then turn the heat down to low. When the dish is cooking at just a lively simmer, cover the pot and simmer for about half an hour, or until the rice is tender.
  7. Take the pot off the burner, add the crab meat back in, stir and blend everything together well.
  8. Do a taste test, and adjust salt, pepper, and cumin as necessary.
  9. Allow your Arroz Atollado de Cangrejo to sit for about 10 minutes, then transfer it to a large attractive serving platter, garnish with a liberal sprinkling of fresh chopped cilantro, and serve.