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Asopao de Mariscos

Puerto Rico’s asopaode mariscos is a rice-based seafood soup that verges into stew territory. Ingredients vary, but shrimp and lobster are required. The shells of the crustaceans provide the base of the soup’s stock, which is then enhanced with the addition of vegetables, fish, and seafood. For seasoning, a herb-infused sauce known as sofrito provides a piquant spice to this dish.

Recipe Servings: 8

Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
2 hours 45 minutes
Total Time
3 hours
Gluten Free
Dairy Free


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 cup sofrito
  • 2 cups long-grain rice
  • 1½ Tbsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch of saffron
  • ½ lb littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 1 lb (453 g) raw large shrimp, peeled with shells reserved for stock
  • 1 lb lobster, heads removed, tails sliced into 1-inch pieces, claws cracked, shells reserved for stock
  • 1 lb snapper or other firm whitefish fillets, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • lemons, cut into wedges
  • 2 jalapenos, thinly sliced


    For Stock:
  1. Pour olive oil into a large pot set over medium-high heat.
  2. Add chopped onion and green pepper and sauté for around 5–6 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Add lobster shells and shrimp shells. Cook until they turn pink-red.
  4. Add tomato sauce, water and bay leaf. Cover and simmer stock for 2 hours.
  5. For Asopao:
  6. Pour olive oil into a large, heavy pot set over high heat.
  7. Add paprika and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add sofrito and simmer, stirring constantly, for around 5 minutes.
  8. Stir in rice and cook for 1–2 minutes.
  9. Add salt, vinegar, bay leaf, saffron, and clams. Pour in seafood stock and bring to a boil.
  10. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer until rice is al dente, 8–10 minutes.
  11. Add fish, shrimp, lobster, and tomatoes to rice. Cover and cook until rice and seafood are cooked, around 6–8 minutes.
  12. Remove pot from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  13. Serve asopao de mariscos hot in small bowls. Garnish each bowl with chopped cilantro, a lemon wedge, and jalapeño slices.

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