Mamposteao with Shrimp and Adobo


This Puerto Rican mamposteao recipe starts with a homemade adobo spice blend and combines rice and beans with aromatics and citrus-marinated shrimp.

Caribbean Adobo Shrimp

Frederick Hardy II / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Christina Brockman

Active Time:
1 hrs 5 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
6 servings

Mamposteao combines pre-cooked rice and beans (feel free to use leftovers) with sofrito and an adobo spice blend. It is similar to dirty rice. This recipe for this Puerto Rican dish comes from chef Eric Rivera, and includes shrimp and a warm citrus sauce.

Adobo seasoning is a staple in Puerto Rican households and this recipe uses it several times. If you need to save time, you can also use a store-bought adobo spice blend, but this recipe is far superior (we suggest you make an extra batch of adobo seasoning and keep it in the cupboard to use whenever you want to deepen the flavor of your cooking). The shrimp is marinated in a combination of the adobo spice blend and orange juice; be careful not to marinate the shrimp longer than 30 minutes, as the acid in the juice will begin to cook the shrimp. 

While the shrimp marinate, you’ll prepare and cook the sofrito. The ingredients for the sofrito come together in a food processor to save time, and the sofrito is cooked with tomato sauce, saffron, and adobo spice to intensify the flavors of the aromatics. It’s cooked with red bell pepper, onions, scrambled eggs, and chickpeas to add volume, flavor, and texture, then combined with cooked rice. You then quickly sear the marinated shrimp and serve them with the mamposteao and a citrus sauce made with orange juice, crushed chili flakes, and herbs for garnish.


Adobo Spice Blend (makes about 1/3 cup)

  • 6 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt (preferably Diamond Crystal) 

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon MSG crystals

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro (stems and leaves) from 1 bunch

  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped white onion (from 1 medium [10-ounce] onion)

  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped red bell pepper (from 1 medium [7-ounce] bell pepper)

  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped scallions (from 1 [3-ounce] bunch)

  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice (from 1 large [10-ounce] orange)

  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves from 1 sprig

  • 1/4 teaspoon Adobo Spice Blend

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • Pinch crushed red pepper

Shrimp and Mamposteao

  • 5 1/2 teaspoons Adobo Spice Blend, divided

  • 1 pound large (16-20 count) peeled, deveined raw shrimp

  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice (from 3 to 4 large oranges), divided

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce

  • Pinch of saffron (about 20 strands)

  • 1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper (from 1 medium pepper)

  • 1 cup thinly sliced white onion (from 1 medium onion)

  • 2 large eggs

  • 3 1/2 cups cooked basmati rice

  • 2/3 cup rinsed and drained canned chickpeas (from one 16-ounce can)

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • Sliced scallions and cilantro leaves


Prepare the Adobo Spice Blend

  1. Whisk together salt, garlic powder, MSG crystals, turmeric, cumin, and pepper in a small bowl until well combined. Set aside until ready to use.

Prepare the Sofrito

  1. Pulse cilantro, onion, bell pepper, scallions, orange juice, oregano, Adobo Spice Blend, garlic, and crushed red pepper in a food processor until finely chopped, 15 to 20 pulses, stopping to scrape down sides of processor as needed. Set aside.

Prepare the Shrimp and Mamposteao

  1. Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons Adobo Spice Blend over shrimp in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the orange juice and 4 tablespoons of the oil; stir until well combined. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

  2. While shrimp marinate, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium until shimmering. Add Sofrito, tomato sauce, saffron, and 3 teaspoons Adobo Spice Blend; cook Sofrito mixture over medium, stirring often, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper and onion; cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Push bell pepper mixture to 1 side of skillet; add eggs to opposite side of skillet, and cook, stirring often, until scrambled, about 1 minute. Add rice and chickpeas; stir until well combined and heated through, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and keep warm.

  3. Remove shrimp from marinade; pat dry using paper towels. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon Adobo Spice Blend.

  4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Working in 2 batches, add shrimp, and cook until caramelized and just cooked through, about 3 minutes, turning shrimp halfway through cooking time. Transfer cooked shrimp to a medium bowl. Add crushed red pepper and remaining 1/4 cup orange juice to skillet; heat over medium-high, scraping bottom of skillet using a wooden spoon to dissolve any browned bits. Remove from heat.

  5. Serve Shrimp and Mamposteao immediately; drizzle orange juice mixture over top. Garnish with scallions and cilantro.


Be sure to shake Adobo Spice Blend before using, as the garlic powder will stick and cause clumps after a few weeks. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Make ahead

Sofrito can be prepared up to 3 days in advance.

Related Articles