This recipe is from the book 'The Cuban Table' by Ana Sofía Peláez!

In Harina con Cangrejo, fresh crabmeat is added to a peppery sofrito with a touch
of hot sauce, then sprinkled with lime juice and poured over creamy cornmeal porridge. It is a particular favorite of the river goddess Oshún, represented by la
Caridad del Cobre, Cuba’s patron saint. Perhaps because of this harina—or yellow cornmeal, synonymous with hard times— is a cherished comfort food.

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Serves 4 to 6


1½ cups coarse yellow cornmeal

salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 large green bell pepper, stemmed, cored, seeded, and diced

1 large red bell pepper, stemmed, cored, seeded, and diced

1 medium white onion, diced

4 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced

14½ oz can fire-roasted tomatoes, diced

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 dried bay leaf

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon pimentón

¼ teaspoon ground celery seed

½ lb fresh lump crabmeat, picked through for shells and well drained

Tabasco or similar hot pepper sauce

fresh lime wedges

  1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a heavy 5- to 6-quart pot.
  2. Add the cornmeal in a steady stream, whisking constantly until well blended so that no lumps form.
  3. Lower the heat to medium-low, stirring frequently until the cornmeal begins to pull away from the sides of the pot but is still creamy and smooth. This will take about 15–20 minutes.
  4. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Heat the oil in a 12" skillet over medium heat.
  6. Add the green and red peppers, onion, and garlic, and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent. This will take about 6–8 minutes.
  7. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, bay leaf, salt, black pepper, pimentón, and celery seed.
  8. Bring to a simmer and cook until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 10 minutes.
  9. Add the crab and warm until just heated through, 3–5 minutes.
  10. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
  11. Divide the cooked cornmeal into individual bowls and top with the crab mixture.
  12. Sprinkle with Tabasco sauce or lime juice to taste.


Photography by Ellen Silverman

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