If you aren't planning to visit the tiny island of Guam anytime soon, you'd do well to pull up a chair at Prubechu, the small Mission Street restaurant that serves 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. The recipe varies from family to family and from village to village; this one comes 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.