Puerto Rican Shrimp Stew - ?

Puerto Rican Shrimp Stew

Back in 1984 on a business trip to Puerto Rico I happened to stay at a resort along the north coast. While there I had a shrimp dish that I found particularly nice. It was a shrimp stew that was seasoned perfectly and served over white rice. Many years have gone by and I've never come across that dish in the USA mainland. Recently I thought about the stew and I decided to find a recipe and try making it. Thus, the recipe below is my first attempt and I will report back with results ... and likely a few changes as well.

Two of the ingredients listed below, sofrito and sazón, are common items found in hispanic grocery stores or ethnic foods sections of some supermarkets. Sofrito is a nice salsa used as a base in many hispanic dishes. It is easy to find at the supermarket though you can also make it easily if you want to look up a recipe on the Internet and acquire the various ingredients. Sazón is a seasoning composed of dry spices and typically sold in packets, boxes or plastic spice bottles. I have included the recipe for sazón below so you can make it instead of searching for it at the supermarket. All other listed ingredients are commonly found in any supermarket.


2 tablespoons of olive oil

4 tablespoons of sofrito

2 bay leaves

5 to 10 pimento stuffed green olives

1/4 pound of smoked ham (diced)

1 1/2 teaspoons of sazón

1 cup of tomato sauce

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) of stewed tomatoes

1 pound of raw shrimp (medium size, peeled and cleaned)

salt to taste

pepper to taste

4 cups of cooked white rice

Sazón Ingredients: (makes five tablespoons of sazón)

1 tablespoon of ground coriander

1 tablespoon of ground cumin

1 tablespoon of ground annatto seeds (or paprika)

1 tablespoon of garlic powder

1 tablespoon of salt


Make four cups of cooked white rice. Follow the directions for the type of rice you purchased. Keep the cooked rice covered and warm in a 180 degrees F warming oven.

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add the sofrito, bay leaves, olives and ham. Saute over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the sazón, tomato sauce, and stewed tomatoes. Bring to a boil and them immediately reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the shrimp and cook it at a simmer until it just turns pink, about 5 minutes.

Add the salt and pepper to taste and allow to simmer for 1 more minute.

Serve hot with the cooked white rice.

Enjoy ...