Mexican rice, also known as Spanish rice, is a staple food originating from Latin America and Mexico. Although Mexican rice varies depending on the region it comes from, all versions consist of the same kind of ingredients. Mexican rice, referred to as “Arroz” in Mexico, is usually cooked with rice, chicken broth and tomato sauce. However, other spices or ingredients may be added to allow your own experiment with taste. This rich rice dish is Mexico’s favourite because of its healthy ingredients and the easy-to-cook procedure for making tasty Mexican rice.
Step 1: Ingredients needed
Arrange all the ingredients needed before you get started. The quantity of each ingredient depends upon the numbers of persons who will eat your dish. So, if you need to adjust the amount for serving, you may do so but just make sure you balance all the ingredients so as not to make it too salty or spicy. Here is the list of the main ingredients for how to make Mexican rice:
- Uncooked white rice (2 cups)
- Vegetable oil (5 tbsp.)
- Garlic salt (2tsp.)
- Chopped Onion (1/3 cup)
- Cumin (1 tsp.)
- Tomato Sauce (1 ½ cup)
- Chicken broth (3 ½ cups)
- Chopped parsley (1/2 cup)
- Large Saucepan
Step 2: Main Procedure
It is easy to make Mexican rice. Start by heating the vegetable oil in a saucepan over a medium heat for about 2 minutes. When the vegetable oil is ready for frying add in the chopped fresh onions. Sauté the onions for about 1-2 minutes until softened. Together, with the softened onions, add the uncooked white rice and cook for about 5 minutes or until it changes its colour to golden brown. When the rice is almost cooked, add the garlic and sauté with the cooked rice for a further minute.
After a minute, you may add the chicken broth and the tomato sauce. Add them slowly into the rice, stirring all the time, followed by the chopped parsley (optional). Mix it all up and bring to the boil. When you see it starting to boil, turn the heat low and cover the saucepan. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Check its texture or thickness with the use of a spoon and taste it. If it’s already thick enough and the rice is golden brown then it’s ready to serve.
Step 3: Cooking Mexican Rice with Variations
When making Mexican rice, you can also customize your cooking according to your taste. For a change, you might want to add jalapeño pepper (seeded and minced) with the garlic and chopped onion until the onion gets soft. Do this before adding the rice. Then add a half cup of cooked peas and a half cup of finely diced carrots before serving. You may also add a cup of drained canned beans to the rice 5 minutes before it is done. Add shredded chicken or pork to turn your Mexican rice into a main course.
Other Substitute Ingredients
When making Mexican rice, you may substitute the other main ingredients if they are proving difficult to find or produce. If you don’t have fresh cloves of garlic to use, you can use garlic powder instead. However, do not sauté the powdered garlic instead just add it when adding the liquids. Also, if you don’t have tomato sauce, you can use a cup of unseasoned chopped stewed tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes together with the liquid. For easy cook Mexican rice, you can also use dry rice instead of uncooked white rice.
Tips and Warning when Cooking Mexican Rice
- Make sure that the oil is not too hot before you add in the rice.
- Be careful after draining the vegetable oil and when you add the water. The sauce pan is hot and the water may overflow or splash. You might get burnt.
- You can use wild long-grained rice for variety in your Mexican rice.
- You should use a cooking mitt to protect your hands and avoid getting burnt.
Other Kinds of Mexican Rice Recipes
- Red Rice
- Chicken Taco Rice
- Mexican Green Rice
- Red Spanish rice
- White Rice with Chile Strips, corn and cheese
- Tex-Mex Rice