If you ever go to Mexico, you must try Mexican rice. Maybe you have never heard of it, but you might have heard about Spanish rice… surprise! They practically use the same ingredients. However, if you don’t know any of the above-mentioned, fear not, we will introduce you to this beautiful dish and teach you how to make your own.
Mexican Rice or Spanish Rice?
First, we want to provide some background story to understand the reason why both recipes call for the same ingredients and are referred to as the same dish. One of the stories says that the reason why a Mexican recipe is also known as a Spanish one dates back to 1520 when the Spanish colonized Mexico. When the Spanish invaded Mexico, they took rice with them; this was a famous grain, widely used in Spain, and it was almost a staple ingredient present in many dishes. After colonization, rice became more present in local Mexican recipes. Particularly in the region of Veracruz, a simple and flavorful recipe with rice became popular: it was made with local vegetables (onions, tomatoes, cilantro, chilis, corn, bell peppers) and it was eaten by all… Mexican rice.
So, the fact that the Spanish brought rice from Europe, making it available in Mexican lands, can be the reason behind both names work interchangeably. It is interesting to note that Spanish rice is not cooked in Europe as it is in Mexico and that the main difference between these two dishes is the spices used in them.
So… What is Mexican Rice then?
Fluffy rice paired with onion, bell peppers, garlic, jalapenos, tomato sauce, broth and spices, such as cumin, with the zest of lime makes the perfect Mexican rice. Mexican rice is rather a simple recipe, typically consumed as a side dish. However, since it can be made with so many basic ingredients, it can quickly become the base for a main course.
Not only is this a delicious meal, it is also good for your health. Bear in mind we are talking about rice with vegetables, you cannot go wrong with this combination. Mexican rice is high in dietary fiber, improving digestion and preventing diseases like colon cancer, diabetes or heart diseases. It is also low in fat and cholesterol and is packed with vitamin A. Pay close attention to the vegetables you can cook this rice with, go with the seasons and make this flexible recipe part of your weekly meals.
How to Make the Perfect Mexican Rice
One of the easiest ways of making Mexican Rice is following this recipe we are about to share with you. It only calls for a few ingredients that you may already have in your pantry, and you can customize it as desired and pair it with whatever you want to eat: a burrito, tacos, or chicken… you name it. Mexican rice is a guaranteed hit.
This is what you need
- Garlic cloves.
- Long grain rice.
- Tomato pureé.
- Chicken or vegetable stock.
How to Make Mexican Rice
- Start by heating a saucepan over high heat and drizzle some olive oil. Stir-fry the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes, until they become translucent. Add the tomato pureé and stir until all is combined.
- Add 250 grams of uncooked rice to the saucepan and combine it with your mixture. Rice should absorb all flavors and colors from our previous ingredients.
- Now is the time for the chicken or vegetable stock. You will need approximately 750 ml for the amount of rice we are making this recipe with. Season as you like and bring it to a boil.
- Once the rice is boiling, lower the heat and cook it for approximately five minutes. Cover it with a lid and lower the heat as much as your stove can handle it.
- In a separate saucepan, sauteé some corn with finely chopped carrots until they become tender and they get a little bit of a golden-brown color.
- Serve the rice and top it with your corn and carrots. Garnish it with some finely chopped coriander and the zest of a lime and enjoy!
If you want more Mexican rice ideas, go to minuterice.com/recipes/mexican-rice/ and learn how to make another exquisite recipe!