Simple Stove Top Chamoru Red Rice

I am 30+ years old and i finally perfected cooking Red Rice! and not in the rice cooker….ON THE motha-effin’ STOVE!!

I know, i know. ..HOW SAD? BUT i also know that I’m not the only one! So, shhhhh, because i want to share some of the secrets to making some radass Chamoru red rice that my sister-in-law taught me…

It has taken me this long because I’ve always been afraid to ruin my pots by burning my red rice or I’m always worried that my rice will taste generic. I would also get too fancy and add some kind of broth. Fail. The truth is: simple is best.

Update: my in-laws said no garlic in red rice. And when your in-laws say something, you don’t ask questions lol. So, no garlic, k?

This recipes is for 3 cups of rice.

You’ll also need foil*


  • 1 package of dry Annatto Seeds (1 1/2 oz) (42 grams)
  • 3 Cups Jasmine or Calrose Rice
  • 4 Cups Water
  • 1/2 Cup diced Onions (my son doesn’t like onions so I sometimes use 1 TBS onion powder instead of onions
  • Sea Salt to taste

Secret #1: add 1 Tablespoon Vegetable oil or coconut oil for shine (*). My mother in law uses crisco…so I use it too 🙂


  • Boil 4 Cups water.
  • Place annatto seeds in a wire strainer (mesh colander) over a medium sized bowl
  • Sautee Onions n a pot (a non-stick works best). Cook until translucent.
  • Once water is boiled,
    • pour water over the annatto seeds into the bowl.
    • Gently stir seeds with a metal spoon ( *a metal spoon is easier to clean up and won’t stain your spoon) for about 2 minutes.
    • Let the seeds soak for about 5-10 minutes and stir again. You want the seeds to give as much flavor possible.
    • Simply remove strainer/colander from bowl and you’re left with this deep orange color fluid.
  • wash rice. drain. add the rice to your sauteed onions and garlic.
  • Then slowly add your anatto seed fluid.
    • Here is where you want to add your salt. I used about 4 teaspoons salt. Stir contents until combined. Then add your oil and stir once more.

Secret #2: put foil over the pot lid (*)

  • Place your pot with the anatto fluid, rice, onions, and oil on the stove and set your burner on the highest setting.
  • Cover with lid.
  • Once the water in the pot starts to boil, stir your rice, and set your burner to ‘low’. Cover with lid for about 3-4 minutes. And continue to stir.

Secret #3: When the liquid in the pot has disappeared (should be about 5 minutes), (turn off your burner) move your pot away from the burner. STIR and COVER. Let your rice sit for about 15-20 minutes.

Secret #4: Do not pick up the lid within these 15-20 minutes, you want the steam to continue to cook your rice.


*Thanks to my good friend Stacia and my sis-in-law who shared their secrets;

Stacia: secret #1

my sister-in-law; joni: secret 2,3&4…

I’ll always remember it!

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