Shrimp asopao

Asopao is a family of stews [1][2] that can be made with chicken, pork, beef, shrimp seafood, vegetables, or any combination of the above. Asopao is Puerto Rico's national soup and one of the most important gastronomic recipes in Puerto Rico.[3][4][5]

Dominican Republic

Versions of asopao are found in many Caribbean locales, including the Dominican Republic, where the addition of chicharrones de pollo (small bits of fried chicken or chicken skin) is characteristic [1] or coconut milk and shrimp.

Puerto Rico

A version said to be based on the Spanish rice dish arroz a la valenciana includes chicken, rabbit and a variety of seafood cooked in sherry wine.

The chicken version (asopao de pollo) is usually served with plantain-dumplings. It's a common holiday dish for Christmas, and during Octavitas and Los Tres Reyes Magos celebrations.[6] Asopao de pollo can also include beer, smoked ham, ham hock, corn on the cob with more smoky seasoning cumin, annatto and coriander seeds.

Asopao de marisco is second popular after asopao de pollo. It includes clams, shrimp, squid, octopus, fish, lobster, crab, scallops, and mussels.

Asopao de gandules replaces rice with pigeon peas. Meat usually a mix of longaniza, oxtail, and smoked meats, when done roasted pork is placed on top of the soup. Squash and plantain-dumplings are often included in the soup.

The plantains-dumplings that are popular with asopao de pollo and asopao de gandules are made from root vegetables, breadfruit, green banana, plantains, milk, eggs and rice flour or cornmeal. The dumplings are made into golf size balls and often seasoned with spices and herbs. They can be prepared a day in advance and fried.[7][8]

Asopao is typically flavored with wine, broth, bay leaf and oregano, along with sofrito, olives, capers, and rice being the most important part. Garnish with sweet peas and served with mojito isleño, bread, tostones and avocado.

In media

Asopao is mentioned in "Caribbean Conspiracy" by Brenda Conrad, about a story that takes place in Puerto Rico which was published in 1942[9] and printed as a weekly series in dozens of U.S. newspapers in 1943.

Asopao is mentioned in passing in the seventh episode of the third season of Netflix's series Daredevil, titled “Aftermath.”[10]

Asopao is revealed as Dr. Hugh Culber's favorite dish in Season 2 Episode 8 of Star Trek: Discovery.[11]

Asopao is made by the Puerto Rican sisters in the CW show Charmed.

"Asopao de Brisket" is served in episode 12 of the first season of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, said to be a "Puerto Rican-Jewish fusion," to which Moon Girl's friend Casey exclaims, "It's me, as a dish!"


  1. ^ a b Raymond Sokolov (1993). Why We Eat What We Eat: How Columbus Changed the Way the World Eats. Simon and Schuster. pp. 44, 49–50. ISBN 9780671797911. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  2. ^ José Luis Díaz de Villegas (2004). Puerto Rico Grand Cuisine of the Caribbean. La Editorial, UPR. p. 138. ISBN 9780847704156. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  3. ^ Carballo, Viviana (3 January 2001). "Chicken version of dish from Puerto Rico is divine". Arizona Daily Star. Tucson, Arizona, U.S. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  4. ^ Houston, Charles R. (25 February 1940). "West Indies Foods Make Travel a Joy". The Miami Herald. Miami, Florida, U.S. Retrieved 23 April 2020. Asopao de pollo, the chicken and rice prepared with sherry wine in Puerto Rico, is, in my opinion, the most pleasing gastronomic delight of the entire West Indies.
  5. ^ Sonnenberg, Maria (1 May 2011). "Asopao at Mike and Sue's restaurant". Florida Today. Cocoa, Florida, U.S. Retrieved 23 April 2020. Defining asopao, the quintessential comfort food from Puerto Rico, can be tricky.
  6. ^ Candeleria, Cordelia (2004). Encyclopedia of Latino Popular Culture, Volume 1. Greenwood. ISBN 9780313332111.
  7. ^ Charles M. Tatum (2013). Encyclopedia of Latino Culture: From Calaveras to Quinceaneras [3 Volumes]: From Calaveras to Quinceañeras. ABC-CLIO. p. 419. ISBN 9781440800993. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  8. ^ Cicero, Linda (20 April 2003). "One fell soup Puerto Rican asopao has variations galore". Leader-Telegram. Elau Claire, Wisconsin, U.S. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  9. ^ "CARIBBEAN CONSPIRACY (book review)". Kirkus Reviews.
  10. ^ "Aftermath". Daredevil. Season 3. Episode 7. October 19, 2018. 50:07 minutes in. Netflix.
  11. ^ "If Memory Serves". Star Trek: Discovery. Season 2. Episode 8. March 7, 2019. 23:50 minutes in. CBS.