Mexican Rice, or arroz rojo, is a staple in Mexican cuisine! It is a red rice that is cooked in chicken stock and tomato juice, which gives it that beautiful red color. This authentic version was created by Stella Navarro-Kim at @stellanspice with Mahatma® White Rice.
Over medium heat, add the oil to a pan then fry the onions and garlic. When the onions and garlic have lightly browned, remove the garlic and set it aside.
Add Mahatma® Extra Long Grain White Rice to the pot and toast the rice in the oil, moving it constantly for about 5 minutes or until it becomes slightly puffy and golden brown.
Add the Knorr chicken bouillon and garlic powder, the mix and continue toasting for another minute.
Blend together the roma tomatoes and fried garlic clove. You should have about 8 oz (1 cup) of tomato sauce. Add it to the rice, stirring constantly for 30 seconds. The color should change to warm reddish orange color.
Add the HOT water to the rice. It has to be hot- if the liquid isn’t bubbling on the sides of the pot, your water is not hot enough. Stir in salt to taste at this point if you’re adding. I recommend about 1/4 tsp. Add the cilantro and jalapeno on top, continue boiling over medium heat until some of the water has evaporated. Then turn the heat to the lowest setting and cover for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, turn off the heat and fluff the rice with a fork. There will be a thin layer of tomato sauce at the top- that is what we want. Just gently fluff & mix it into the rice to distribute evenly.
At this point, the rice is ready if you don’t like overly soft rice. This is good for me, but if you want it more soft & fluffy, cover for another 10 minutes (no heat).
Long grain rice – The best option for this recipe is Mahatma® Extra Long Grain White Rice for this recipe! This is super important and does actually matter. The rice grains are extra long, which means it contains less starch and cooks to a super fluffy & drier texture which is exactly what we want.
Tomato sauce– you can use either canned or fresh tomato sauce! If using fresh tomatoes, you want to make sure you find the ripest, reddest tomatoes you can if you care about color.
Chicken bouillon– Knorr chicken bouillon is what we recommend (this is a key ingredient), but you can use whatever you have available. Chicken stock will work (but may be a little greasy), or tomato bouillon to make it vegan.
Vegetables– This standard version usies only onions and garlic, but you may also add carrots, peas, or red bell pepper if you want.
Other seasonings– garlic powder and just a little salt to taste.
Hot water– whether you are using chicken bouillon or chicken stock, the liquid used to steam the rice in this recipe has to be HOT when you pour it in.
Aromatics– these ingredients are optional but will give your rice a very authentic taste- cilantro and jalapeno. The jalapeno will not make the rice spicy at all- it is just to add flavor, although I do actually like to eat them with my meal!
For another version, try our Authentic Mexican Rice recipe.