The rice with green pigeon peas is our traditional rice served during the Christmas Holidays. However, I love to prepare this rice with pork ribs for a more flavorful rice dish. We normally use the short or medium grain rice for our rice recipes. After studying the various types of rice, I now use the long-grain rice because it tends to separate when cooked for a perfectly fluffy rice dish. I still use the short or medium grain rice (tends to stick together when cooked) for our popular rice pudding.
While living in Puerto Rico, the rice with green pigeon peas (with or without pork meat) was normally prepared during the Christmas Holidays. In the United States, we prepare this dish frequently throughout the year. This rice dish is so delicious that it is frequently requested by other cultures whenever a potluck dinner is being planned!
A Little Bit of History!
The green pigeon peas were introduced to Puerto Rico from West Africa. The West Africans also brought their rice (Orzya Glaberrima) to the island. They cultivated the African rice near the wetlands and marshy areas located in the Northern coastal section of Puerto Rico. The Spaniards brought the animals to Puerto Rico. The meat that we tend to mostly consume is pork. Because the pigs were better able to adapt to their new tropical environment compared to the other animals, they reproduced many little piggies. As a result, we consume a lot of pork meat in Puerto Rico!
Let’s Prepare the Marinade for the Pork Ribs!
In a bowl, add the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and black pepper.
Stir until all the ingredients are well blended.
Pour the marinade over the pork spareribs. Coat pork spareribs entirely with marinade. Cover bowl with lid and refrigerate for 4 hours.
Let’s Sear the Pork Ribs!
Add pork ribs to skillet and sear over medium-high heat.
Sear pork ribs until a rich brown crust is formed.
Now Let’s Start Preparing This Rice Dish!
Add the salt, extra virgin olive oil, chopped olives and cilantro.
Because I prepare my sofrito with Culantro, I add chopped cilantro to this dish.
Continue adding the tomato sauce, capers, minced garlic and sofrito.
Our Sofrito is a special blend of herbs and vegetables sautéed in annatto oil and tomato sauce. Therefore, it is the basic condiment that gives the Puerto Rican cuisine its unique flavor and aroma. Today the puréed herbs and vegetables that are prepared in advance for future use is commonly referred to as “Sofrito.” If you do not want to make a large batch of sofrito, then here is an easy recipe on How to Make Sofrito for a Single Meal
Add the seasoning envelopes with coriander and annatto.
The seasoning envelopes with coriander and annatto are now sold at regular supermarkets. However, click on this link for more information regarding the seasoning envelope as well as a method of creating your own Special Blend of Seasonings.
Stir all the ingredients until the pork ribs are evenly coated with the tomato-oil based sauce.
Pour water and green pigeon peas along with liquid in can. Stir until well blended.
Bring to a boil.
Add the rice.
Stir rice well into liquid. When the liquid starts to boil again, reduce heat to a simmer.
Cover saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
It is Time to Turn the Rice!
Once the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, insert a spoon to the bottom inside edge of the saucepan.
Bring the bottom rice to the top.
Place bottom rice on top near the center of saucepan. You continue this process around the inside edges of saucepan – bringing the bottom rice to the top.
Cover saucepan with lid and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender.
Rice is tender and ready to be served. I normally turn the rice again before serving. ¡Es una costumbre que tengo! Place rice with pork ribs into a large bowl and have your guests serve themselves a plate of this delicious and tasty rice dish.
This rice is also served with pasteles and pork shoulder roast for the Christmas Holidays!
Click on the button below to watch my YouTube video on How to Prepare Rice with Green Pigeon Peas and Pork Ribs!
Recipe and Nutritional Facts!
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. Please refer to our Nutritional Facts Disclaimer for more information.Print
This rice dish is prepared with seasoned pork ribs, long-grain rice and essential tropical ingredients for a fluffy, savory and tasty Caribbean cuisine!
- 1½ pounds pork spareribs, cut into individual ribs
- 1 can (15 ounces) green pigeon peas
- 3 cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt (low sodium) or to taste
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 seasoning envelopes with coriander and annatto
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
- 3 tablespoons sofrito
- 3 sprigs fresch, cilantro, chopped
- 4 pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- 3 cups long-grain white rice
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt (low sodium)
- Rinse pork ribs and place in bowl.
- Mix marinating ingredients in a bowl and pour over pork ribs.
- Coat pork ribs entirely with marinade. Cover bowl with lid and refrigerate for 4 hours.
- Sear pork ribs in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add remaining ingredients except for the rice. Stir until well blended.
- Bring to a boil and add rice. Stir rice well into liquid.
- When the liquid in the saucepan starts to boil again, reduce heat to a simmer. Cover saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.
- Simmer for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Turn the rice by inserting a spoon to the bottom inside edge of the saucepan – bringing the bottom rice to the top.
- Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.
- Category: Lunch and Dinner
- Cuisine: Puerto Rican
Keywords: Rice with Green Pigeon Peas and Pork Ribs