Colorful and tasty, Crab Rice Pilaf can serve as a main or side dish. Preparation time is minimal, and it cooks up in less than 30 minutes. It’s a perfect last minute meal for busy cooks.
You’ll love the hint of smokiness that the bacon lends to the dish. Don’t eat pork bacon? (Gasp!) Simply substitute turkey bacon. Don’t eat meat? Skip the bacon and replace it with 1 tablespoon of butter, olive oil, or vegetable oil to saute the onions.
Crabmeat can be expensive, so I often use imitation crab (surimi). It looks and tastes almost identical to the real thing. It’s also a good choice for those with shellfish allergies. Most importantly, it’s very affordable.
Crab Rice Pilaf Recipe
2 strips of bacon, finely diced
1/2 medium sweet onion, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 cup raw arborio or short-grain rice
1/4 cup white wine (see Notes)
3/4 cup clam juice, divided use (see Notes)
1 cup chicken, seafood, fish or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
1 green onion (scallion), thin-sliced
1 Roma tomato, finely diced
1/2 pound lump crabmeat or imitation crab, coarsely shredded
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Saute the bacon and sweet onion in a 4-quart heavy saucepan until bacon has rendered its fat (but not crisp) and onions are soft. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings, if necessary.
Add the garlic and rice and stir-fry until rice becomes opaque, about 3 minutes, then carefully add the wine and stir for 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup clam juice, chicken broth, and salt. Stir to combine, then cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
Uncover and add sliced green onion, tomato, remaining 1/4 cup clam juice, crab, and cream. Stir gently to combine, cover again, and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Fluff rice, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve.
Yield: 4 servings
• If you cannot use wine, substitute an equal amount of clam juice.
• For those allergic to shellfish, substitute fish broth, vegetable broth, or chicken broth for the clam juice.
• To add extra oomph and to stretch the dish, frozen mixed vegetables, peas, or chopped broccoli may be added when adding the liquid to the rice.
Crab Rice Pilaf Recipe Photo ©2019 Peggy Filippone