Mexican Style Rice is an incredibly basic kitchen skill that I didn’t master until after I was married. The hubs taught me how to make it. Mexican Style Rice was his main sustenance as a bachelor artist living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. That, and instant ramen noodles. But I didn’t need a recipe for ramen noodles, as the instructions are on the back of the packet. Mastery of Mexican Style Rice had always eluded me.
The toughest part is to get the proportion of liquid to rice correct. Always, it is a 2:1 ratio – Two parts liquid to one part rice. Usually we make 2 cups of rice when the boys are home. When it’s just us, I make one cup of rice. The same proportion is used when making Arroz con Pollo or paella – 2:1
Practice Makes Perfect
It might take you a few batches to master the art of making Mexican Style Rice (known as Sopa de Arroz in Spanish) because watching the heat level of your stove is vital to the success of this popular side dish. The steam escaping from under the lid should puff gently. Also, you should be able to hear a gentle simmer happening inside the pan. Some people prefer to make their rice in a glass lidded skillet so they can see what’s going on inside. But if you simply keep your burner on a low heat and watch for gentle steam puffs, your rice will turn out beautifully!
Make your Mexican Style Your Own Style!
The flavorings you add to the rice can vary greatly – bell peppers, peas and carrots, cumin, or even spicy serrano peppers – Once you master making the rice, you can add your own signature style. One of my favorite variations is to eliminate the tomatoes and simply make a white rice with peas and a little extra garlic. Occasionally I will add a pinch of turmeric for a golden colored rice. With a little imagination, Mexican Style Rice can become your style of rice!Print
Mexican Style Rice
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Side
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Mexican
2 cups water or chicken broth (480ml)
1 tomato, seeded
1–2 cloves garlic
Salt to taste
2 tbsp. vegetable oil (30ml)
½ small white onion, chopped
1 cup white rice (185g)
Your choice of flavorings (add one or all of the following)
Pinch of ground cumin
Pinch of black pepper
½ cup frozen carrots and peas (55g)
½ fresh bell pepper, sliced
In the container of a blender, combine the water or chicken broth, tomato, garlic and salt. Puree until smooth.
Heat the olive oil in a 3 qt. lidded skillet or sauté pan. Add the chopped onion and saute until translucent over medium heat, about 1 minute. Add the rice and toast until opaque, about 1 minute. Carefully pour in the tomato puree (pan should be quite steamy.) Add any flavoring of your choice as listed above. Stir to distribute the seasonings and flavorings.
Once the mixture returns to a slight simmer, cover with the lid of the pan. Simmer over low heat for 25 minutes. Do not remove the lid while the rice is simmering.
Once the cooking time is complete, remove the lid and fluff the rice before serving.
This recipe is scalable for more servings using a ratio of 1 part rice to 2 parts water or chicken broth. For 1 ½ cups rice (277g) use 3 cups water or chicken broth (720ml). For 2 cups rice (370g), use 4 cups water or chicken broth(1lt). The remaining ingredients can be increased as well, although what is critical to the success of the rice is the liquid to rice ratio.
Vegetable oil can be corn oil, safflower oil, soybean oil or olive oil.