In Mexico, there are different varieties of rice availabe. The most commonly used in Jalisco is the long grain white rice. In other parts of the country, the short grain white rice is used. You can also buy “broken” rice and brown rice, but these are not so commonly used. Either the long grain or the short grain can be used successfully in just about any mexican rice dish.
Good mexican rice is fluffy and not at all sticky and I believe it is the cooking method which makes it this way. The resulting texture is pleasantly unlike the “styrofoamy/cardboardish” rice I’ve tasted in other places.
The following rice recipe is inspired by Diana Kennedy and is a good introduction to preparing rice the mexican way. I use less oil than is traditionally called for and substitute water for the chicken stock.
Mexican White Rice
- 1 1/2 C. white rice (long or short grain)
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Tbs. oil
- 3 1/2 C. water or chicken stock
- salt to taste
- 1 C. frozen vegetables such as corn, peas, or carrots optional
Clean the rice removing any rocks or hulls, place in a container and cover with hot tap water. Allow to soak about 20 minutes.
Drain rice, then rinse under cold running water until water runs clear, this means all the starch has been removed.
In a sauce pan, heat oil over medium flame. Add drained rice, onion and garlic and sautŽe until the rice begins to change color, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Add 3 1/2 cups of water or chicken stock and salt to taste, stir to combine. Bring this mixture to a boil and continue cooking uncovered, over medium heat, until almost all the liquid has been abosrbed, about 15 minutes. (Bubbles will appear on top of the rice). Cover and turn flame to lowest possible setting for 5 minutes.
Turn flame off and let rice set for 30 minutes to finish cooking. Fluff and serve.