This authentic recipe for Colombian Arroz Con Coco (Coconut Rice) is a classic dish native to the Carribean coastal regions of Colombia. It’s traditionally served with meat or seafood.
Although I’m Puerto Rican, I have a deep love for Colombian food. My husband is half Puerto Rican, and half Colombia. After meeting him, he introduced me to all kinds of delicious Colombian recipes that I’d never had before. One of his favorite foods is Colombian arroz con coco (coconut rice). Being Puerto Rican, naturally my response was “Oh, like rice pudding?” He laughed a little, then said, “No, it’s usually eaten with fish or meat.”
Cue the WTF look on my face! I couldn’t wrap my head around the thought of eating coconut rice with something savory, but this is very common in the Caribbean Coast of Colombia, where his paternal relatives are from. I was pleasantly surprised the first time I worked up the nerve to try some arroz con coco at a family gathering, it’s absolutely divine!
Ever since then, I’ve been indulging my hubby with one of his favorite childhood food memories. This recipe takes a bit of time and work, but it’s my belief that anything related to love should always take time and work. So set aside some time to make this extraordinary tropical dish, because it’s totally worth it!
This rice recipe uses coconut milk that is reduced until it forms a toasty, caramelized coconut paste on the bottom of the pot. This concentrated coconut paste are called titoté in Colombia, so this recipe can also be called arroz con titoté. The concentrate can be found in jars in Colombia, which makes preparation easier, but trust me, making this from scratch is totally worth it!
What to Serve with Colombian Arroz Con Coco?
Traditionally, arroz con coco is served with fried or stewed seafood, as well as fried plantains (tostones) or patacones, as they’re known in Colombia. Here are some recipes that would pair perfectly with this dish:
- Bacalao Guisado (Stewed Salt Cod)
- Camarones Enchilados (Stewed Shrimp)
- Carne Guisada (Beef Stew)
- Ropa Vieja (Shredded Beef Stew)
- Pollo Guisado (Chicken Stew)
Colombian Arroz Con Coco (Coconut Rice)
An authentic Colombian recipe for Arroz Con Coco. Perfect as a side dish to meat or seafood.
Pour the coconut milk into a small caldero or sauce pan and turn the heat onto medium high.
Boil the coconut milk for 30-45 minutes.
Once the liquid has evaporated, you'll see this pulp on the bottom. Continue to cook, stirring frequently. We need the water to evaporate completely out of this pulp, as this will what transforms into titoté.
You'll know you're there when you see the oil separate out of the pulp, and it starts to turn golden brown. Stir continuously to keep it from sticking and burning. Once it's dark golden, crumbly, and no longer sticking to the bottom, the titoté is done.
Add in the water, panela/brown sugar, salt, rice, raisins and stir.
Bring the mixture to a boil.
Once all the liquid is absorbed, lower the heat to low, form the rice into a mound, and cover.
Let the rice steam for 15-20 minutes, until it’s fluffy and fully cooked. Serve hot!