In Brazil, to make simple and fluffy white rice is like feeding a national passion. The perfect accompaniment to any dish. Learn all the tricks to avoid mistakes when cooking a basic white rice recipe.
Rice is an essential ingredient for many cultures around the world and during our travels, we learned many ways to cook white rice. Interestingly, what surprises us the most are not the different cooking methods, but realizing that most of the time the white rice of daily meals is prepared without seasoning, thus receiving at most a little salt and a spoon of butter.
In Brazil, we cook rice differently. We love saying that we always sauté rice with onion and garlic before cooking. The smell in the air is unbeatable.
The fact is that Brazilian white rice is delicious and we want to honour it by sharing our infallible tips for preparing this dish which is as trivial as it is special.
A technique for making the perfect fluffy white rice
For those just starting out in the kitchen, leaving the white rice loose (not clumpy) and fluffy seems a mystery, but it’s actually quite simple. Success is guaranteed as long as you follow a few rules.
The type of rice and not washing
The Brazilian recipe for white rice is made with agulhinha rice, a type of long and polished rice. A lot of people like to wash the rice before cooking, but in fact, you don’t need to do it, especially when it is written on the packaging that it is not necessary.
If you really want to wash the rice, quickly pass it through the water with a sieve or colander, otherwise the chance of it “sogging” during cooking is high.
Get the right proportion of rice and boiling water
The rule is clear: for each quantity of white rice, use twice as much boiling water. Boiling, that is the keyword, many people measure the water before boiling and do not consider the evaporation amount.
Other people skip this step and put the water at room temperature straight into the rice cooker without boiling it before. And then you know what happens? It becomes clumpy.
Sauté the rice
The rice goes to the pan when the onion and garlic are almost translucent. For the rice to be loose, it is essential to sauté the rice together with the spices, stirring well to wrap all the grains with olive oil.
Take care of the pan, but without stirring
After adding the water, wait for it to come back to a boil and then turn the heat down and do not stir until the rice is dried. Ah! Another surefire trick is to leave the pan half-covered until the water is dried.
Respect the resting time
After turning off the stove, let the rice rest in the covered pan for about 5 minutes. Only then will you stir and fluff the rice with a fork before serving.
Ready! Homemade fluffy white rice as every Brazilian love it
The cooked rice lasts for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. It is the perfect accompaniment to any dish, in addition to serving as a base for other preparations such as fried rice.
Perfect and fluffy white rice (Brazilian way)
- ½ onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup white rice – long grain
- 2 cups boiled water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Put the water to a boil, add just a little more than the amount of the recipe (for evaporation).
- Meanwhile, chop onions and mince the garlic.
- Bring a pan to medium heat and add the oil. When the oil gets hot, add the onion, garlic, salt and sauté until withered. Keep stirring to avoid it burning and golden.
- Add the rice and sauté well, for about 1 minute – this step is very important to seal the rice properly.
- Now, measure two cups of boiling water and pour over the rice. Stir with the spoon to spread the rice from the bottom of the pan.
- Wait for the water to boil again. Then, lower the heat and partially cover the pan.
- From now on do not stir the rice until it absorbs all the water. The time depends on the pot, but it is usually around 15-20 minutes.
- To check that the rice has absorbed all the water, gently remove some grains of rice with the help of a fork until you see the bottom of the pan. If you still have water in the bottom, wait a few more minutes.
- When the water is dry, cover the pan and let the rice rest for 5 minutes – this step is essential.
- Now, just fluff the rice with a fork and serve while still hot.
Serve rice with beans, fried egg and stir-fried kale for a truly Brazilian meal.