Arroz de Camarón

Shrimp Rice

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 8


Appears in

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

By Patricia McCausland-Gallo

Published 2004

  • About

Typically, this rice is prepared with dried shrimp. Not the tiny variety, but the medium-size, about 1- to 1½-inches long. This makes them easier to peel. The dried shrimp are simmered for 15 minutes, removed from the water, peeled, and set aside to cook with the rice. The shells are blended with the cooking water to make the stock you use to cook the rice. It is a traditional dish for the Holy Week of Easter; that’s the time of the year you can find the dry shrimp in the markets. Here I prepared it with fresh shrimp because they are easier to find, but if you come across dried shrimp just follow the recipe and reduce the amount of shrimp by half.


  • 2 pounds fresh shrimp in the shell
  • 1 shrimp or seafood bouillon cube
  • cups rice
  • cup oil
  • ½ cup minced green onion*
  • tablespoons mashed garlic
  • ½ cup minced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup grated carrot
  • 1 cup peeled, seeded and diced tomato
  • 3 tablespoons minced ají dulce* (sweet green pepper)
  • 4 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional)


  1. Wash and peel the shrimp and set aside in the refrigerator. Place the shells in a large pot with 6 cups of water and the bouillon cube; simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. Puree in a blender for 1½ minute, pass through a very fine sieve. Discard the shells and set the stock aside.
  2. Wash the rice and drain thoroughly.
  3. In a large pot or caldero* over medium heat place the oil. Add the green onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Continue with the garlic, red pepper, and carrot, and sauté 3 minutes more. Add the tomatoes, ají dulce, parsley, salt and black pepper, and sauté 10 minutes more. Add the shrimp, and Tabasco if desired; stir, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir.
  4. Pour the stock into the vegetable–shrimp mixture and simmer until you see the rice very close to the surface of the liquid.
  5. Cover, lower the heat to minimum and cook for 20 minutes.
  6. Uncover and serve.