Chamorro Red Rice

About 4 people
10 Min
50 Min

You can't have a party on Guam without it! A crucial recipe for every Chamorro girl. My uncles used to tease me and say that you couldn't get married unless you learned to make it. Red rice made over the stove and not in an electric cooker always seems to work better for me. I hate the way the electric cooker sometimes burns the bottom or keeps popping up as "done" because of the achote. It takes practice to get your red rice the way you like it.

pinch tips: Perfect Pasta Everytime


2 Tbsp
achote seeds
1/2 c
chopped onions
1/2 tsp
4 c
2 Tbsp
cooking oil
2 c
rinsed calrose rice

Directions Step-By-Step

Soak achote in 2 cups of warm water for about 30 minutes.
Add salt to the achote and water, rubbing the achote seeds against each other until the water becomes a dark orangey red (the darker the better). Strain the liquid out into a little bowl. This stuff will stain your hands, clothes, and possibly your cooking materials.
In a small pot, boil the achote water and add in the rinsed calrose rice with two cups of water.
Add salt, oil, and onions.
Reduce the heat to medium-high for about five minutes (or until the liquid has evaporated). Pay attention! Don't let the achote burn on the bottom of the pan. People often burn their red rice because they aren't watching the heat. Be patient. :)
Cover and reduce the heat to low for about 15 to 20 minutes (or until the rice is fully cooked).

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Other Main Dishes
Hashtags: #rice, #red, #Chamorro, #guam

You May Also Like:


Jul 21, 2012 - Desiree Taimanglo-Ventura shared a photo of this recipe. View photo
Sandy Mika mikasldy
Jul 22, 2012
I use to buy achotina and it was lard with achote, but can not find it any more, so now I make my red rice by cooking the achote in lard then I strain it out. I'm going to try soaking them like you do. You leave the achote in the rice?
Desiree Taimanglo-Ventura si_dessa
Jul 22, 2012
Hafa Adai Sandy. Åhe, I don't leave it in. I take the actual seeds out and just strain the liquid too. I need to go in and edit that part. I don't know if you've seen it, but one other way I've seen people make red rice is with the powdered achote. I tried it once and it came out okay too! :)
Jul 22, 2012 - Desiree Taimanglo-Ventura shared a photo of this recipe. View photo
Jul 22, 2012 - Christine Fernandez shared this recipe with discussion group: Kiss the Chef
Sandy Mika mikasldy
Jul 22, 2012
I haven't used the powder, but I have used a cake that you break small pieces off and then smash it with oil or vinegar and then add it
Jul 28, 2012 - Desiree Taimanglo-Ventura shared this recipe with discussion group: Chamorro Food
Heidi Hoerman heidicookssupper
Aug 18, 2012
I find achiote in among the Mexican foods at the local grocery. I've put in in rice and it's good.
Sandy Mika mikasldy
Aug 18, 2012
yeah, I can find it there too, but I use to be able to buy achiotina and its lard already flavored with achiote
Ñadia Wright NadiaWright
Jun 28, 2013
I live in Miami, FL and I'm trying to find the Achiote seed or paste to make this yummy rice. I love it, had it while I was in Guam, would love to have it again.
Anna Marie Baleto annabananascreations
Mar 22, 2014
I learned that a cup of rice ~ you melt 1/4 cup unsalted butter then saute the minced garlic and onions with the rice in medium heat. Pour in the achote water into the rice mixture and bring to a boil then put about another 1/4 cup butter nicely sliced after it comes to a boil cover the rice and bring the temperature to medium low (let it cooked untouched and covered for white rice 25 minutes and brown rice 50 minutes) Brown rice is not recommended and it's longer to cook. This is what I learned.
Lisa Fisher lovethepiglet2
Apr 13, 2014
I use to live in Guam, I loved it. There was a rice dish we used to have at Yigo elementary school for breakfast but I can not found the recipe anywhere. Would you have any idea what it is? It had fried rice, green onions, eggs some type of meet, but I am not certain what else was in it. Thank you, Lisa
Edward Blas edblasin
Apr 20, 2014
Thanks for the recipe on red rice. I made chicken kelaguen with it. Delicious!
alex lee duckeemar
Sep 24, 2015
Thanks for the recipe, my wife is from Saipan, I am going to try to make this to surprise her, will let you know how it came out