Most countries have rice-based dishes that truly represent their traditions and culture. Some are well-recognized around the world, and people usually try to cook them at home in an attempt to reproduce their genuine flavors, so they can feel they are eating authentic rice dishes for a particular location.
Flavors reminiscent of countries and cultures
For example, Japan has a long history of preparing the freshest and most unique sushi worldwide. Rice consistency with the right balance of stickiness and firm structure makes the perfect sushi. The secret? Using the right type of rice, mold it and shape it correctly.
Creamy risotto takes you on a trip to Italy. The best risotto must be thick, creamy, firm, and al dente. To get this texture, you should preferably use Arborio rice; stirring constantly and adding broth slowly each time.
What about Paella? Spain is the birthplace of this delightful dish. A good Paella relies on the quality of its ingredients where rice plays a key role. In this preparation, rice is the star and the other ingredients are only accompaniments.
Rice in Paella has to be al dente, dry, firm, with separated grains, soft on the outside and harder inside. This texture is obtained by cooking rice with the right amount of water or broth at the exact time.
Introducing the Mexican rice
As with previous dishes, rice also plays a key role in some Mexican meals like the very popular Mexican rice. It is a preparation with rice, broth, onion, garlic, tomato, chili, oregano, and cumin, served with fresh parsley or cilantro. Mexican rice is just a bowl of fluffy red rice with tons of strong flavors given by the tomato, chili, and spices like cumin and oregano.
When you eat perfect Mexican rice, you must taste in every bite the texture of tender rice, and a strong flavor of cumin and tomato. To achieve this, you have to use high-quality ingredients and follow the traditional way of cooking like the one presented in https://mahatmarice.com/recipes/traditional-mexican-rice/
The secrets for making the perfect Mexican rice
There is not just one secret for making the perfect Mexican rice, but a combination of secrets making it possible to prepare this delicious rice dish.
Let’s unravel some of them:
- Use long-grain rice: This variety makes it possible to get firm grains, fluffy and separated after cooking.
- Brown your rice beforehand: This is the first and crucial step for getting the perfect rice. You need to put some oil in a pan, pour the rice and cook it until it gets noticeably brownish. This allows the grain to stay separated and not to stick after cooking. This step also makes rice release a nutty aroma which gives another layer of flavor to the final preparation.
- Do not stir constantly: You only have to mix all the ingredients at the beginning of the process to combine them. After this, you do not have to touch rice anymore until it is tender.
- Give a kick of flavor: Use enough cumin, oregano, and extra spicy chili (or jalapeno pepper) to give the rice the typical strong Mexican taste.
- Serve with fresh herbs: This dish is simply served with fresh cilantro or parsley at the top. In some cases, fresh lime slices are placed at the side of the dish to give a citric touch.
Cooking the perfect Mexican rice
Now that you know all the secrets of this dish from Mexico, enjoy cooking with the following recipe.
Mexican rice (6 servings)
- 1 ½ cups of long-grain rice.
- 1 cup of water.
- 2 cups of chicken broth.
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
- 1 diced tomato.
- ½ cup of diced onion.
- ½ cup of diced jalapeño pepper.
- 3 minced cloves of garlic.
- 1 can of tomato sauce.
- 1 teaspoon of oregano.
- 1 teaspoon of cumin.
- Salt to taste.
- Minced fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish.
- In a saucepan, pour vegetable oil and cook over high heat.
- Add rice and coat completely with oil. Fry rice until it gets browned.
- Once the rice gets an accentuated brown color, incorporate onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper, and tomato. Stir thoroughly and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Pour water, tomato sauce, chicken broth, cumin, oregano, and salt. Mix well all the ingredients.
- Cook until boiling, and reduce heat.
- Let it simmer for 20 minutes, saucepan covered.
- When all liquid is absorbed, the rice should be tender.
- Serve with minced cilantro or parsley on the top.
- You can also add a couple of lime slices at the side.