This rice is a terrific accompaniment to dishes like Mole Poblano, Asado de Puerco, Costillas en Salsa Verde, and many other traditional Mexican stews. It also makes a nice, quick dinner with a fried egg on top and some fried plantains. The preparation of this rice varies from region to region, but the end result is the same.
Long-grain rice works best, as it renders a fluffy and moist end result. It has less starch content, so the grains of the cooked rice will not stick together, provided you rinse them well before cooking. Some people only rinse the rice. I’ve found that when you soak it, the grains are more tender and fluffier. Some cooks prefer to add the garlic, minced, and the chopped onion while cooking the rice in step 4, instead of processing them in the blender in step 2. You can use chicken broth instead of the hot water, or a chicken bouillon cube dissolved in water. Keep in mind that your rice won’t be as white in color if you use this option.
Excerpted with permission from The Mexican Home Kitchen: Traditional Home-Style Recipes That Capture the Flavors and Memories of Mexico by Mely Martínez (Rock Point 2020).
- Prep time 15 minutes
- Cook time 35 minutes
- Serves 6
(270 grams) long-grain white rice
(24 grams) chopped white onion
small garlic clove
vegetable oil or lard
1 1/2 cups
1 to 2 sprigs
fresh parsley or cilantro (optional)
serrano pepper (optional)
freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
Salt, to taste
- Place the rice in a large heatproof bowl and add enough hot water to cover the rice. Stir once, then let stand for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the onion, garlic, and ó cup (120 ml) cold water in a blender, and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Drain the rice in a strainer, then rinse it under cold water until the water runs clear. Shake the strainer well to remove any excess water, as the rice needs to be as dry as possible. Set aside to continue drying.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan or cazuela over medium-high heat. Add the rice and fry, stirring constantly, until it becomes transparent, 4 to 5 minutes. Don’t overbrown the rice. When it’s done, carefully tip the pan to one side and use a spoon to remove the excess oil.
- Add the onion and garlic mixture to the rice in the saucepan and stir. Add the 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) hot water, along with the parsley (if using), serrano pepper (if using), and lime juice, and bring to a boil.
- Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, season with the salt, and cover. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Once you cover the rice, it is important not to stir or touch it until it is cooked; otherwise, it will become mushy. The water should be absorbed almost completely, and the rice should look cooked and fluffy. Once the rice is cooked, remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes to let the rice continue steaming. Discard the parsley, lightly fluff the rice with a fork, and serve.