Gabriela Cámara's Arroz Verde Con Camarones (Prawns With Green Rice)

It’s very Spanish to serve shrimp this way, adding green things (in this case spinach) to the water in which the rice is cooked, and using this as a base for buttery prawns freshened up with a squeeze of lime. It’s easy enough to be a weeknight dinner but tasty enough for company, too.

This recipe is extracted from My Mexico City Kitchen: Recipes and Convictions by Gabriela Cámara and Malena Watrous (published by Lorena Jones Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House). Photography © Marcus Nilsson


Ingredients for prawns with green rice Serves: 4

  • 1 qt / 960ml water
  • 7 oz / 200g washed spinach or kale
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1⁄2 cup / 120ml olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups / 400g Arborio or Calasparra rice
  • 1 sprig epazote
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • 8 to 12 large prawns, shells on
  • Juice of 1 lime

Method for prawns with green rice

  1. In the jar of a blender, blend the water with the spinach and salt.
  2. Warm the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté. Add the rice to the pan and let it fry until the grains are clear. Stir in the spinach water. Bring the contents of the pan to a boil. Add the epazote, then decrease the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. As soon as you decrease the heat and place the lid on the pan, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is bubbling but not brown, add the prawns and sauté for about 1 minute per side. Keep warm.
  4. After 15 minutes, the majority of the liquid in which the rice is cooking should have been absorbed. Remove the epazote sprig, place the buttery shrimp on top of the rice, and cover the pan for a final 5 minutes to finish cooking. Taste the rice and if it is already very close to cooked, re-cover the pan, turn the stove off, and let it steam for 5 minutes.
  5. Squeeze the lime juice over the pan and serve immediately.
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