Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins

From Epicurious...Sofrito, a sautéed vegetable mixture that typically contains garlic, onion, and bell pepper, is used as a seasoning in much of Latin America and the Caribbean. Here, it flavors yellow rice. The color comes from annatto seeds—which have an astringent, slightly peppery flavor—heated in oil until bright red-orange.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat annatto seeds and oil in a very small saucepan over low heat, swirling pan frequently, until oil turns bright red-orange and begins to simmer, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, discarding seeds.
  2. Cook onion, bell pepper, garlic, and cilantro in 1 1/2 tablespoons annatto oil in a 2-to 3-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until vegetables are softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, until most of grains are opaque, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in water and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Stir rice again, then reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until rice is just tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes.
  3. Fluff rice with a fork before serving.
  4. Cooks’ notes:
  5. You can substitute 1/4 teaspoon saffron for the annatto. Use only 1 1/2 tablespoon oil and crumble saffron into oil just before using it.
  6. Leftover annatto oil keeps, refrigerated in an airtight container, up to 1 month.
Most Helpful

This was really delicious, I loved the addition of the cilantro. I did substitute chicken broth for the water for extra flavor and after sautéing the rice and veggies finished it in my rice cooker. Made for ZWT 9 Caribbean Islands by one of Mike and the Appliance Killers.

momaphet August 10, 2013

10 stars, easily! This is the best rice I've had the privilege to make and serve! Making annatto oil is over the top; so easy and so delicious! Love it! Thanks, CaliforniaJan! Made for ZWT9, team Gourmet Goddesses.

mersaydees September 02, 2013

This rice was excellent! I used brown basmati and so I added a little extra water. I also threw in a boullion cube for a little extra flavour. Made for ZWT 9

Cadillacgirl August 10, 2013