Chamorro Red Rice

Chamorro Red Rice

My dear friend Janie first introduced me to Guamanian cuisine several years ago and I have been a fan ever since.   One of my favorite Guamanian recipes is Guamanian Chicken and last night I decided to make up some Chamorro Red Rice as a side dish.  Chamorro Red Rice is a traditional Guamanian rice dish made with achiote seed powder (annato), onion, garlic and salt.  It has a beautiful reddish orange color and pairs very well with spicy dishes.  It’s surprisingly mild in flavor and tastes absolutely delicious!

If you have any favorite Guamanian recipes that you would like to share, please feel free to contact me via the comments. I would love to try them!  Thanks!  Tessa


  • 1 cup white rice (washed and drained)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp achiote (annato) powder
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

Grab a medium sized pan with a tight fitting lid.  Add canola oil and onion and saute until onion is opaque.  Add all remaining ingredients, stir, cover and turn stove on simmer or the lowest setting.  Cook until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender (about 15 minutes). Fluff rice with a fork.  Remove from heat, cover and let the rice sit for about 3 – 5  minutes before dishing up.  Makes about 4 servings.  Enjoy!  Tessa

20 thoughts on “Chamorro Red Rice

  1. Sissi

    Tessa, I know absolutely nothing about Guamanian cuisine, but this rice looks fabulous. I happen to have annato I have never used, so it might be the first experiment.

  2. christine

    I’m Chamorro, living in Seattle though—and this is a staple side dish I miss a ton and often get cravings for. looks just like my grandma’s! well done!

    1. Tessa

      Hi Christine! Thank you! I just love Guamanian food and there’s no place here in Southern Oregon that serves it. I just found a recipe for Chicken Kelaguen that I must try. If it is a winner, I will be sure to post it. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. mjskit

    I’m not at all familiar with achiote (annato), but I can tell that it produces a beautiful color. Curious about the flavor. Another seasoning I need to find! It makes a gorgeous rice dish and your picture is beautiful!

    1. Tessa

      I love the color too! Look for achiote or annato in the Hispanic section of your grocery store… I’m excited about using this ingredient in other dishes as well.

    1. Tessa

      Hi Andrea! I want to learn how to prepare more Guamanian recipes. Everything that I have tried has been so delicious! Thank you for stopping by!

    1. Tessa

      I make a similar rice called Nasi Kuning. It has coconut milk and turmeric in it. I should make it again one of these days… One of my faves!

  4. Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings

    Hi, Tessa! I came to your blog via Ang Sarap! I have a daughter named Tessa, and she’s 2! She’s an inspiration to me, because she eats really well – at least compared to her two other siblings!

    Anyway, this rice reminds me of “Java rice” – I think it’s a purely Filipino concoction, not Indonesian. Hehe. Looks delicious!

    1. Tessa

      Hi Jen! I just checked out your blog and you do some really great work! And, btw, it’s not too often that I hear the name Tessa and it’s not me :). Thanks for stopping by!

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