Puerto Rican Salmorejo (Stewed Crab and Tomatoes with Rice)

Puerto Rican Salmorejo de Jueyes is a treat for anyone who loves crab! Traditionally an all-day family affair, buying lump crab meat means you can have this hearty stew and rice on the table in about a half an hour.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 mini sweet peppers (or yellow, red, or orange bell pepper), diced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium white onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 large Roma tomatoes, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 (8-ounce) can of tomato sauce, about 1/4 cup
  • 2 tablespoons recaito, store-bought or homemade
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sazón con culantro y achiote seasoning, store-bought or homemade
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 stuffed Manzanilla olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained of brine
  • 1 pound crabmeat (lump, backfin, or claw, or a combination of these)
  • 1/2 cup water

To serve:


1 Cook the veggies: In a large skillet with a lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat until the surface of the oil begins to ripple. Add the sweet peppers, bell pepper, onion, and garlic to the pan and sauté for 3 minutes, or until the vegetables look glossy and translucent.

Reduce the heat to medium, and add the tomatoes to the pan. Cook the mixture, stirring frequently, for 4 more minutes.

Puerto Rican Stewed Crab cook the vegies Puerto Rican Crab, Tomatoes, and Rice add the tomatoes

2 Simmer the spices and seasonings: Stir in the tomato sauce, recao, Sazón, oregano, salt, pepper, bay leaf, olives, and capers. Bring the ingredients to a gentle simmer and then lower the heat to maintain the simmer—tiny bubbles should just barely break the surface of the liquid. Simmer for five minutes, uncovered.

Puerto Rican Crab and Rice simmer the ingredients

3 Fold in the crabmeat and simmer: Add the crabmeat and water to the pan, and gently fold the meat into the tomato sauce. Avoid stirring too aggressively: you want to keep the crabmeat in lumps.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover the pan. Allow the salmorejo to simmer for 10 minutes without stirring.

Caribbean Salmorejo verses Spanish Salmorejo fold in the crabmeat

4 Serve: Serve the salmorejo over steamed white rice, or atop fried plantain chips. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to two days and reheat well over the stovetop or in the microwave.

You can also freeze the salmorejo for up to two months in a zip-top storage bag. Thaw overnight in the fridge, and warm it on the stove in a saucepan until it’s bubbling.