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Crave | Electric Kitchen

Achiote, chili pepper help flavor rice dish


In celebration of Arbor Day, Hawaiian Electric Co. and its partners will give away 3,000 native and exotic trees and shrubs at six sites on Oahu on Saturday.

Pick up a free tree — one per family — while supplies last. Select from patio plants, flowering plants, shade trees and fruit trees. One-third are fruit trees or spice plants: calamondin, fig tree, Hawaiian chili pepper, lipstick tree (produces annatto/achiote), mountain apple and pomegranate. The recipes below feature achiote and Hawaiian chili pepper.

Experts will help you select the plant best suited to your needs, and you’ll receive a planting guide. Our partners are the Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program, Urban Garden Center, Wahiawa Botanical Garden and Waimea Valley.


2 cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 to 8 small red chile peppers, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced

In small pot, boil water with Hawaiian salt until salt is dissolved. Remove from heat, add peppers and garlic. Steep cool.

Pour into glass container. Store in refrigerator. Makes 2 cups.


Visit one of these sites on Saturday. Call 543-4441 or visit

» WAIANAE: 7 a.m., HECO Kahe Power Plant
» PEARL CITY: 7 a.m., Urban Garden Center
» HONOLULU: 7 a.m., HECO Ward Avenue facility
» KAILUA: 7 a.m., HECO Koolau Base Yard
» WAHIAWA: 9 a.m., Wahiawa Botanical Garden
» NORTH SHORE: 9 a.m., Waimea Valley

Approximate nutritional information, per tablespoon: 60 mg sodium; no calories, fat, cholesterol, carbohydrate, fiber, sugar or protein


1 cup achiote seeds (seed from lipstick plant, also known as annatto or achiote)
2 cups vegetable oil

In saucepan, combine seeds and oil. Cook over low 5 minutes or until oil is a rich red color; strain and discard seeds.

Store oil in covered glass container in refrigerator. Makes 2 cups.

Approximate nutritional information, per tablespoon: 120 calories; 14 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; no cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrate, fiber, sugar or protein


6 cups white rice
1 pound lean pork sirloin, sliced into thin strips
2 teaspoons adobo seasoning (see note)
3 tablespoons achiote oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
4 packets Sazon Goya seasoning (see note)
3 (8-ounce size) cans tomato sauce
2 (15-ounce size) cans gandule beans (pigeon peas), drained
1 (6-ounce size) can pitted olives, including liquid
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 (14-1/2-ounce size) cans chicken broth

Wash rice and drain; set aside.

Sprinkle pork with 1/2 teaspoon adobo seasoning.

In large sauce pot or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon achiote oil. Add pork and cook until browned. Add onion and garlic; saute until browned. Add parsley, green onions and Sazon Goya seasoning; cook until tender. Add tomato sauce, gandule beans, olives with liquid, the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons adobe seasoning, pepper, salt and chicken broth; stir to combine ingredients.

Stir in rice, lower heat, cover and simmer about 1/2 hour, stir, then simmer approximately 1/2 hour more.

Alternatively, instead of cooking on range, put bean/rice mixture in Dutch oven; cover and place in oven. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1/2 hour; stir. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees and bake another 1/2 hour, covered, stirring occasionally. Makes about 20 servings.

Note: Adobo and Sazon Goya seasonings are available in the Asian section of grocery stores or in Latin grocery stores.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 330 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, greater than 1400 mg sodium, 59 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 12 g protein

For more Hawaiian Electric Co. recipes, visit


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