Puerto Rican Asopao

Puerto Rican Asopao

adapted from Coastal Living Magazine

Yields:  4 servings


1 red pepper, chunked

1 small tomato, quartered

1/2 onion, rough chop

1 jalapeno chile, stem, seeds removed

5 cloves garlic

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves


2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp smoked paprika (The amount may be adjusted up or down based on preference.)

1 cup Sofrito

2 Tbsp tomato paste

2 cups uncooked long-grain rice

1 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt, divided

6 cups water

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 bay leaf

2 pounds firm white fish fillets, cut into 1-in. cubes (snapper, rockfish, etc.)

1 pound raw large shrimp, peeled, deveined

2 tomatoes diced (about 2 cups)


1/2 white onion, small chop

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

2 lemons or limes cut into wedges

2 jalapeno chiles, thinly sliced

Prepare the sofrito.

In a blender process all of the sofrito ingredients until finely chopped and incorporated.  (Process just enough so that there are no large chunks in the mixture.)

Prepare the asopao.

Heat oil in a large heavy stockpot over medium high heat.  Add the paprika and cook until fragrant.  Add the sofrito and the tomato paste.  Cook, stirring often until the mixture is fragrant and slightly reduced, about 5-6 minutes.  Add the rice and cook 1-2 minutes, stirring, until slightly toasted.  Add 1 Tablespoon salt.  Add the water, vinegar and bay leaf then bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and cover.  Cook until the rice is almost tender, about 15 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, prepare the seafood.  Season the fish with the remaining 1/2 Tablespoon of salt.  Uncover the stockpot, nestle the fish, shrimp and tomatoes in the rice.  Cover and cook until the rice and fish are fully cooked, about another 15 minutes.  Remove the soup from the heat and allow to stand for five minutes.  

Garnish the soup with any or all of the toppings.