Arroz a la Tumbada

Thomasina Miers makes a traditional Mexican seafood dish, Arroz a la Tumbada, which means tumbled up rice so quite literally its all thrown in
By Thomasina Miers
Arroz a la Tumbada
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 3 serrano or jalapeno chillies
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 400 g Valencia rice, (or other medium-grained rice)
  • 240 ml olive oil
  • 800 g mussels, scrubbed clean and de-bearded
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cans good quality plum tomatoes
  • 1.2 kg water or fish stock
  • 500 g coley fillets, filleted and cut into 2cm chunks
  • 200 g prawns, (optional)
  • 2 heaped tbsp chopped coriander
  • 2 heaped tbsp chopped chives
  • 2 heaped tbsp chopped mint
  • 1 tsp dried Mexican oregano


1. Griddle toast the chillies and garlic in a dry frying-pan for 10-15 minutes until blackened in spots.

2. Rinse the rice in several changes of cold water.

3. Heat half the oil in a large saucepan and when it is smoking hot throw in the mussels, cover with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes, shaking from time to time. The mussels will be cooked as they open. Empty the contents through a fine sieve and reserve this cooking liquor.

4. Pour the remaining oil in the pan and lightly fry the onions over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, so that they soften but do not colour.

5. Blend the chillies, garlic and tomatoes in a food processor to get a rough sauce.

6. Meanwhile add the rice to the onion and cook for a few minutes before adding the tomatoes. Cook for another 3-4 minutes before adding half the water or stock and the mussel juices. Cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes before adding the rest of the liquid.

7. Simmer for 10 minutes and then add the fish and the herbs, cook for 4 5 minutes. Serve.

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