How to Cook Rice (the Brazilian way!)
If you wanna learn how to cook rice, always ask a Brazilian. Rice is the first thing we learn how to make in the kitchen. It usually goes like this: girl gets married, comes back from the honeymoon and realizes she has to start cooking or both she and her husband will starve to death (down there, men rarely know how to cook!), then calls her mom to ask how to make rice and how to fry an egg.
Are you up for the challenge? Ok, great! Let’s do this! I promise it is not hard. It is a tiny bit more work than what you’re used to, but still not difficult at all.
First, wash your rice! What? Yes! We wash our rice! Unlike risottos, we don’t need the starch here. We want the rice to be fluffy and loose, not clumpy. So we wash it until the water runs clear. In Brazil we have special strainers for rice, but here I just use a plain cheap plastic one and it works perfectly.
Also, for this type of rice we prefer the white long grain type. Basmati or jasmine will do. I always use jasmine because that’s my favorite. I usually don’t do free advertising here, but I’m a fan of the Goya brand. Their jasmine rice is delicious!
When cooking rice, the right proportion of rice to water is 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water. Always! This is religious! Just kidding… But if you always remember this, your rice will always come out perfect!
We boil the water separately. Use a tea kettle. While the water boils, you prepare the rest.
In a large pot (rice gains 50%-60% volume after cooked, so choose something with room) heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil (vegetable oil keeps the rice white! Olive oil will tint it slightly!) over high heat and, once hot, sauté one finely chopped onion and 3 minced cloves of garlic until translucent. Add the rice and let it fry really well with the onion and garlic. That seals the grain and also lubricates it, guaranteeing a loose rice at the end.
Once you’ve fried the rice for a couple of minutes, it will start forming clumps. That is the cue to add the water (that was boiling separately in a tea kettle or saucepan). Add a pinch of salt, stir with a wooden spoon, cover and lower the heat to the lowest possible setting. Now it’s just the waiting game. In about 20 minutes your rice will be ready. A good way to know is way you stop hearing the water boil and you see holes throughout the surface of the rice.
Turn the heat off, lift the lid slightly and let the rice sit untouched for 5 more minutes.
Fluff it with a fork and serve!
And that, my friends, is how I cook the perfect/fluffiest/whitest rice! Is it on my family’s table almost everyday. And, once you try it, it will probably be on yours too!
This rice will keep fine in the fridge for up to a week. It is important to sauté the onion really well, because if not, the onion will get bad and sour fast and so will your rice.
You can use this cooked rice for so many other recipes: rice with broccoli, chicken soup, rice cakes, fried rice, holiday rice (coming to this blog later this week!)… But you will probably really enjoy it plain with some Brazilian style beans. :-)
Scroll down for the printable version on how to cook the perfect rice! :) Enjoy your week, folks!
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup white (long grain) rice (I use jasmine), washed
- 2 cups water
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- Pinch of salt