It’s not very often that we get to cook authentic Mexican dishes here at home. What we know of Mexican cuisine is derived mostly from books, TV and the internet, and most recipes have been Americanized extensively that we don’t really know where the Mexican part ends and the American part begins.
But I came across a recipe by Rick Bayless that provides all the details not only about the correct ingredients for classic Mexican white rice but also the correct technique to cook it. Fry the rice, he says, and heat the broth before pouring it in.
The only marked difference between this recipe and that of Mr. Bayless is the rice variety used. He prefers medium-grain but I always cook pilaf-style rice (yes, this dish is very similar to pilaf) with Basmati.
Why? Because long-grain rice is least likely to clump during cooking. And that’s why this is Mexican-style rather than classic Mexican white rice. If you want more details about rice, see the linked post below.
How to cook rice
Does rice need to be rinsed? Is soaking required? How much water should the rice cook in? The answers to all these and more in this guide to cooking rice, Asian-style.
Mexican-style white rice (arroz blanco)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 onion - peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic - peeled and minced
- 1 ½ cups rice
- 2 ½ tablespoons lime juice
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Heat the chicken bone broth until simmering then turn off the heat. If unseasoned or underseasoned, add enough salt for proper flavor.
- Heat the olive oil and butter together in a pan.
- Add the rice and chopped onion.
- Cook, stirring, until the rice turns opaque, about four minutes (do not allow to brown).
- Stir in the garlic and cook until aromatic.
- Pour in the hot broth and lime juice, and stir.
- Set the stove to the lowest setting, cover the pan and let the rice absorb the liquid for about 15 minutes before turning off the heat.
- With a fork, fluff up the rice then cover the pan and allow the rice to cook in the steam for another five minutes.