How does one make Spanish yellow rice?


Quick Answer

Spanish yellow rice is made with sofrito, a vegetable sauce that usually contains garlic, onion and bell pepper. Sofrito gives the Spanish yellow rice its flavor. The distinctive yellow color of the rice comes from annatto seeds, which are a component of a traditional Spanish yellow rice recipe.

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Full Answer

The following are the steps in cooking Spanish yellow rice.


  • 1 tablespoon annatto seeds
  • 1/4 cup mild olive or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 3/4 cups long-grain white rice
  • 3 cups water

Step 1

Heat the annatto seeds and oil in a small saucepan over low heat, constantly swirling the pan until the oil takes on a bright orange color. Set aside for 10 minutes then strain to remove the seeds.

Step 2

Cook the onion, bell pepper, garlic and cilantro in 1 1/2 tablespoons annatto oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the vegetables have softened up. This usually takes between 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 3

Stir in the rice into the vegetable mix and then stir constantly until the rice grains are opaque.

Step 4

Slowly pour in the water while stirring and allow to boil. Once boiling, stir the rice again and then bring the heat to low. Cook covered for 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Allow the rice to cool a bit for a few minutes before serving.

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