Rice with black shells – Arroz con conchas negras

People from the northern part of Peru are very fond of black shells, which are abundant in the frontier with Ecuador. They are famous not only for their taste, but even more so because they are considered powerful aphrodisiacs. Usually eaten raw, and straight out of the shell (juices and all), chefs are always creating new ways for diners to enjoy them. If they are in season, you can have them in cebiche, risotto, and many other dishes. The recipe for this rice entree is not only delicious but very easy to make. Hopefully, you’ll be lucky and find very fresh seafood (the kind we find in all the coast of Peru on a daily basis)  in the market.

This recipe is the creation of celebrity chef Roberto Cuadra.

Rice with black shells
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 24 black shells
  • 2 cups white rice, cooked
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely sliced
  • ½ cup scallions, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chifles*
  • Salsa criolla *
  1. Open the black shells and take out the meat, reserving the juices. Discard the shells.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat, add garlic and ginger, but do not let the garlic brown because it will turn bitter.
  3. Add bell pepper and scallions, and cook for five minutes. Add the reserved black shells without the juice.
  4. Add the rice and stir. Incorporate the juice of the black shells with the sesame oil and the soy sauce. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Serve in two plates, with salsa criolla, chifles, and lime.
  6. * You can find the recipes for chifles and Salsa Criolla in this blog.


  1. By black shells, you mean mussels?

    • Hi Mathew. Mussels and black shells are different. Mussels need to be cooked and black shells can be eaten raw or cooked. Both are very good.

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