There are as many Locrio de Salami recipes (Rice and Dominican-Style Salami) as there are Dominican homes, each including as many ingredients as its budget allows.
In a list of the top ten comfort foods Dominicans away from home miss the most, this rice and salami Dominican-Style has to be included. Do you agree? It is a very popular dish, with ingredients that are inexpensive and found anywhere in the Dominican Republic.
This simple salami recipe also ranks high on the list of most-searched-for recipes in our blog. But if you don't know enough about our cuisine, be warned that Dominican salami is different from its Italian namesake.
History of Dominican salami
After my arrival in the Dominican Republic close to a quarter of a century ago, I heard the fascinating story of the Jewish community of Sosúa and visited the museum there.
Sosúa is a seaside town on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, a short drive eastwards from the provincial capital, Puerto Plata. In recent decades Sosúa’s scenic bay and the lovely yellow sand beach have made it a popular destination for tourists and expatriates.
In the late 1930s, however, Sosúa was a remote backwater, described as “an abandoned banana plantation.”
Half a world away, on the eve of World War II, the Jews of Europe were becoming increasingly desperate to flee the horrors that lay in store for them in the face of Nazi persecution. Many did everything they could to escape from Germany and Austria, but not many nations were willing to grant them entry.
One of the few countries that opened its doors was one they had probably never heard of. In 1938, the then-dictator of the Dominican Republic, Rafael Trujillo agreed to accept 100,000 Jews, although, in the end, fewer than one thousand people were able to make the long sea voyage and settle in this safe Caribbean haven.
When researching the influences of other immigrant communities on the gastronomy of the Dominican Republic, I recalled the story of Sosúa and wondered if any Ashkenazi (European Jewish) culinary traditions brought over by these refugees had made their mark on Dominican cuisine along with Chinese and Middle Eastern-influenced dishes like chofán and tipili.
Could they have brought holishkes, the stuffed cabbage rolls known in the Dominican Republic as niños envueltos? Maybe, but this dish is much more likely to have arrived with Arab immigrants from the Middle East, who came in much greater numbers and would have known it as malfoof mahshi.
The answer to my question is simpler than that. It doesn’t involve a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish dish, though. The Jewish community of Sosúa can take credit for introducing one simple ingredient that is at the heart of every Dominican breakfast.
Upon arrival in Sosúa, each family was given a plot of land, some livestock, and a loan. The Jewish immigrants soon developed a thriving dairy and meat business. This company, Productos Sosúa, became a household name in the Dominican Republic, and its products with their distinctive red and blue cow logo still grace the shelves of colmados and supermarkets across the country.
Along with staple dairy products like butter and cheese, Productos Sosúa produced processed meats including sausages and salami. Inexpensive and tasty, salami was enthusiastically adopted by Dominicans as the fried centerpiece of the traditional breakfast dish known as Los Tres Golpes – the three strikes.
About this recipe
This rice with salami ingredient list may seem a bit long. It's because we've added as many vegetables as we can fit in it. The reason for this is because we love vegetables, especially the auyama in it (the secret touch of Aunt Clara's mom).
We have also included a choice for Locrio de Salchichas (rice with Vienna sausage), locrio de chuleta ahumada, and locrio de longaniza. These are other versions of this inexpensive meal choice in the Dominican Republic.
Some people won't be able to find Dominican salami where they live. They're in luck, as they can now make their own salami at home with this recipe.
If you know of another way how to make Locrio de Salami,
We'd love to hear it, let us know in the comments.
Buen provecho!Aunt Ilana
Locrio de Salami Recipe (Rice and Dominican-Style Salami)
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (peanut, soy or corn)
- 1 lb Dominican salami [0.45 kg - See notes] (Amazon affiliate)
- 1/4 cup cubanelle (cubanela) peppers, chopped
- 1 pinch oregano
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 1/3 cup of chopped celery (optional)
- 1/3 cup of diced carrot (optional)
- 1/4 cup of pitted olives (optional)
- Pinch of pepper
- 1 cup of diced auyama (West Indian pumpkin or kabocha squash
- 1 teaspoon cilantro or parsley , finely chopped
- 1 cup of tomato sauce
- 6 cups of water
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 4 cups rice
- Cut the salami into cubes. Heat oil over high heat in a large deep bottomed pot. Add salami or sausage and brown.
- Add cubanela peppers, oregano, garlic, celery, carrot, olives, pepper, auyama and cilantro, cook and stir for a minute. Stir in tomato sauce followed by water. Decrease heat to medium and bring to a boil.
- Add the rice and salt and stir often to avoid excessive sticking. Once all the water has evaporated, cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer over very low heat. Wait 15 minutes, uncover and stir. Cover and wait another 5 minutes.
- Taste rice for "doneness"; it should be firm but tender inside. If necessary, cover and simmer another 5 minutes over very low heat.
Tips and Notes
How to make Locrio de Salchicha (Vienna sausage)Instead of salami, you will need 3 large cans, or 6 small ones of Vienna sausage. The rest of the preparation remains the same.
How to make Locrio de Chuleta AhumadaInstead of salami, you will need the same weight listed of smoked, boneless pork chops.
How to make Locrio de LonganizaInstead of salami, you will need the same weight listed of Dominican longaniza (spiced pork sausage).
- The Ugly Story Behind a Breakfast Meat by Pippa Biddle, BBC Travel, 1 June 2017
- Jewish Virtual Library: Dominican Republic Provides Sosua as a Haven for Jewish Refugees by Lauren Levy
- Washington Post: I thought I knew how my family escaped the Holocaust. The truth was hidden in a Dominican town. By Emily Codik, October 17, 2017
- Dominican Haven: The Jewish Refugee Settlement in Sosua, 1940-1945, Marion Kaplan. Museum of Jewish Heritage (2008)
- Tropical Zion: General Trujillo, FDR, and the Jews of Sosúa, Allen Wells. Duke University Press (2009)