You're likely not planning to visit the tiny island of Guam anytime soon, but you could pull up a chair on the socially distanced outdoor patio at Prubechu, the Mission Street restaurant serving tasty Guamanian cuisine made with fresh Californian ingredients and high technique.
Hineksa' aga'ga (red rice) is an essential component of any celebratory dinner in Guam—it has been an important part of Chamorro culture for eons. It's also a hella comforting dish for winter during a pandemic.
Eat in, call for takeout, or even make it at home with this recipe varies from chef/owner Shawn Naputi. It's a wonderful accompaniment to roasted chicken.
Prubechu's Red Rice
4 cups Calrose rice
4 teaspoons achiote seeds
4 cups water
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1. Soak the achiote seeds overnight in 4 cups warm water. Give a good stir the next morning before use—the longer it is stirred/agitated, the deeper the color and flavor.
2. Dice a large onion and sauté lightly in a pan with minced garlic and 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil. Be careful not to burn the onions and garlic; cook until translucent. You'll have more than you'll need for the recipe.
3. Rinse the uncooked rice to remove some of the starch and drain. Add to a pot along with the achiote water, 2 tbsp of the onion/garlic mixture, 1 tbsp. vegetable oil, salt and pepper; stir well.
4. Place pot on the stove. Start on high heat until the water boils. Once it boils, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked all the way.
5. Garnish with finely chopped chives (optional), then serve with whatever you fancy.
// Prubechu, 2224 Mission St. (Mission), prubechu.com