Mexican Red Rice

Mexican Red Rice

Details

This tasty Mexican rice dish is cooked with tomatoes and stock.
  • Serves: 4
  • Active Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Views: 42,167
  • Success: 93%

Steps

Step 1: Preparing Your Mise en Place

• 1/2 white onion
• 1 garlic clove
• 2 large tomatoes
• 1 1/2 cups stock (approx.)

Method

To start the rice, first roughly chop the onion and garlic. Core and cut the tomatoes into large chunks.

Place everything into the blender with about half a cup of stock.

Purée everything until smooth and then pour into a measuring cup. Top up with stock to measure 3 cups of liquid.

Step 2: Toasting the Rice

• 1 cup converted rice
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Method

To cook the rice, heat a pot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the oil, followed by the rice. Toast the rice until translucent and it just starts to brown, which should take about 5 minutes or so.

Step 3: Cooking the Rice

• 1 tsp sea salt

Method

Once the rice has nicely browned, add the tomato and stock mixture, followed by the salt. Increase the heat and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, give it one final stir. Turn the heat down to low, cover and let cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Step 4: Finishing the Rice

• 1/2 cup frozen peas
• sea salt, to taste
• freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

Once the rice is done, gently fluff it with a fork and sprinkle the frozen peas over top. Recover and set aside for about 5 minutes. To finish, fold in the peas, taste for seasoning, and serve.

Chef's Notes

Frying the rice prevents it from becoming mushy when it is cooked in the sauce. After blending, some people prefer to strain the tomato mixture to remove the skin from the tomatoes. You could also substitute the tomatoes for tomato juice or V8.

Variations: Instead of peas, you can add frozen corn, small diced carrots, or thin slices of poblano peppers.

35 Comments

  • Renee L
    Renee L
    I'd love to try this but I've never seen "converted rice" here in the UK, can it be made with any other type of rice?
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    Popular brand here is uncle bens. You can do it with any other rice as well, just observe the water ratios on the package for the rice and adjust accordingly.
  • Ana M
    Ana M
    When you add the oil you should add a clove of garlic and let it brown for a bit then add the rice. It gives the rice to have much more flavor trust me I grew up eating red rice. Also you can also add any mixed frozen vegetables and even corn by itself it is very delicious. Also it is better to add the frozen vegetables when there is still liquid in the pot that way you'll know that the vegetables are not frozen.
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    Thanks Ana... I'm going to the garlic one a try for sure because I love garlic.
  • Barbara B
    Barbara B
    i just made this rice with brown basmati yummy!!!
  • Rc L
    Rc L
    First of all, the best rice to use is long grain white rice. By no means should converted rice be used. Also, the rice should be thoroughly WASHED before frying, otherwise you end up with pasty, chalky tasting rice.
  • J H
    J H
    1. wouldn't you have to wash the rice?! 2. is it possible to use a rice cooker to make this dish?
  • Claudia A
    Claudia A
    Converted rice? Please.... Why would anyone use that awful stuff when long grain rice works wonderful in this recipe. Lots of flavor and easy to make...with long grain rice!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Converted rice is pre-cooked before being dried and milled. This process hardens the rice and consistently produces firm and separate grains which hold well, which is why many people choose this type of rice. Also contrary to popular belief, parboiled (converted) rice is more nutritious than plain white rice, as some of the nutrients from the bran and germ get absorbed into the endosperm before it is milled. And just to be clear we are talking about converted or parboiled rice and not quick cooking, or instant rice...which I agree is not good at all. Also to answer the question above. In this case I would not rinse the rice, rinsing rice is not always necessary. As for using the rice cooker, after toasting the rice you could use the rice cooker to finish the rice. For more info on the subject of rice there is also a "Rice Section" in the Rouxbe Cooking School http://rouxbe.com/school/sections/278 Have a great day! Happy cooking.
  • Jaime S
    Jaime S
    We use a similar recipe were I work. We also add a bit of Spanish Paprika and Ground Cumin to give it a little extra color and flavor, respectively.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Good idea. We just happen to make this the other day and I topped it with sour cream and queso fresco (feta would also work)...it was delicious as well. I will try the cumin and paprika next time. Thanks!
  • Tikvah E
    Tikvah E
    I think there is a mistake in step 1 of the recipe. I think it should say to top off the liquid to 2 cups not three. My parboiled rice package says 2 cups water to one cup rice and it worked at that ratio. This rice was very good. It is quite different than the red rice that I usually make with Mexican food. I usually make what my mom calls Mexican Restaurant Rice. When you are done toasting the rice you add tomato paste and mix it up. It is also very good but this has a fresher taste. I will keep both in my repertoire.
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    Hi Tikvah. You are right that parboiled rice to water ratio is usually 2:1 (unless otherwise specified on the package). However in this recipe, the pureed tomato, onion and garlic mixture does not really count for much of the liquid. If you strained the liquid, you would likely end up with about 2:1. Happy it worked out for you regardless.
  • Tikvah E
    Tikvah E
    That is what I wondered about. After I posted my husband said he liked the rice but it was not soft enough. I'll have to try it again with 3 cups. Thanks
  • Madeleine S
    Madeleine S
    I always seem to burn rice when i make it on the stove top. Would i be alright using a rice cooker for this recipe? Thanks.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    You can try a rice cooker. If your rice cooker isn't equipped to saute the ingredients, saute them in a pan as shown in the video. Transfer the sauteed rice to your rice cooker, add the liquid and cook. Sounds like you might be using too high of heat on the stove top. Once the ingredients come to a boil, turn the heat to low and cover. If you cook the rice for about 20 minutes or so (just until it is tender), it shouldn't burn. There is a lesson in the cooking school on How to Steam and Boil Rice that might give you some more guidance. Hope this helps!
  • Leigh S
    Leigh S
    After taking all these wonderful lessons on cooking rice, as others have noted it seems contradictory to have this recipe call for converted rice when other rice will do. Is there a reason for using converted rice? Does it absorb the tomato better? I can't believe Uncle Ben made it into Rouxbe!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    As per Topic 3 of the "Rice Anatomy" Lesson: "Some rice can also be purchased parboiled or converted, which simply means that it has been pre-cooked before being dried and milled. This process hardens the rice and consistently produces firm and separate grains which hold well. Contrary to popular belief, parboiled rice is more nutritious than plain white rice, as some of the nutrients from the bran and germ get absorbed into the endosperm before it is milled." That is why converted rice made it onto Rouxbe. That and the fact that this recipe was submitted by a pretty darn good Mexican cook :-) Hope that clears it up for you. Cheers!
  • Jennifer W
    Jennifer W
    Can brown rice be used? I'm cooking for a very restrictive diet and brown rice is the only acceptable grain.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Indeed you could use brown rice. You will obviously need to use more liquid (refer to the lesson on Cooking Rice for more details on this) and also you will end up with a different end result. Cheers!
  • Robert S
    Robert S
    Hi Everyone: I made this tonight and although the flavor was really nice, the rice came out a little too mushy. I rinsed and dried the rice, sauteed it until it was translucent and even a little toasted, and used 1/2 Cup of rice to 3 Cups of liquid (including the vegetables). I was wondering if you knew what factors might affect the mushiness. Thanks in advance.
  • Leigh S
    Leigh S
    I had been making wonderful rice pilaf for months, but never rinsed the rice... always just straight to the pan. Then someone put the bug in my ear that I should be rinsing the rice. I did as you did. I rinsed, then dried it prior to sauteing it. I ended up with mushy rice. I tried one more time. Same result. I've now gone back to not rinsing my rice, sauteing it straight from the sack. It has wonderful texture, aroma, and flavour. Try it. See if you like the results.
  • Leigh S
    Leigh S
    One more thing. I "rescued" the mushy rice pilaf by heating up my wok to the mercury ball stage and turning it into fried rice. The added oil, diced ham, peas and egg resulted in a wonderful fried rice.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    You are correct, when making pilaf, the rice should not be rinsed. Refer to Topic 2 in the Rice Pilaf Lesson. Cheers!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Beside the rinsing of the rice, it could also be your ratios of liquid to rice - 1/2 cup a rice to 3 cups of water does seem like quite a lot of liquid. I usually make my pilaf with about a 1 1/2 to 2 cup ratio of liquid to rice. Cheers!
  • Robert S
    Robert S
    Thanks for the responses. I think the rinsing was a bad idea AND that the liquid ratio was probably off. I'll make sure to tweak these next time and report back. In the meantime, I was wondering whether it is a bad idea to add the mire poix first, since the moisture from the vegetables might keep the rice from coating nicely. Also, Mark Bittman suggests sautéing the rice first. Any thoughts?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Don't get too hung up on things as I am sure it was just the ratio of liquid you used and the rinsing of the rice that produced the mushy rice. You may also want to review the lessons on rice, in particular the lesson on How to Make Pilaf. Cheers!
  • Kimberly K
    Kimberly K
    OK here's what I did. I used 1 cup of jasmine rice. For my puree I used 2 oven roasted tomatoes. (Roasted with olive oil, garlic, dried basil, oregano, ground pepper, and salt drizzled on tomatoes before roasted for 4 hours.), garlic, cumin, chicken stock, and kosher salt to taste. Cooked rice for 20 minutes. It came out amazing.
  • Robert S
    Robert S
    Great recipe ... in terms of flavor. Unfortunately, every time I try it the rice comes out mushy. I'm definitely not getting nicely separated rice. I'm pretty sure I pilaf well, and that the ratio of water to rice is right. Any rule of thumb here?
  • Robert S
    Robert S
    Sorry for the repeat comment here. I'll play around with it some more and see if I can be more specific.
  • Leigh S
    Leigh S
    Robert, going back to your original post "Mushiness" you mentioned that you used 3 cups of water to 1/2 cup of rice. Essentially a 6:1 ratio. That is way too much liquid. You are essentially making rice soup with that ratio. You seem determined to make this work, so I'd like to suggest you try the following... This method has never failed me, and is very forgiving. There is only one semi-critical time element. I have used this technique successfully with Jasmine, Basmati, and Sushi rice. I use it all the time for Rice Pilaf, and used it just today for Pilau Rice. I like Basmati for rice Pilaf, but of course that is a personal choice. NOTE: I do not use a rice cooker... just a stainless steel 3 quart saucepan. This method is for stove top cooking in a heavy bottom, thick walled, stainless steel pot. I suspect other quality pots will work too, but they must retain heat well and have a heavy bottom to help prevent scorching. The pot also needs to have a lid that fits well to prevent the steam from escaping. This is not for converted rice, or brown rice. Leigh's Never-Fail stove-top rice cooking technique for long-grain rice. 1. rinse 2 cups (500 ml) rice until water runs clear. 2. drain 3. pour rice into cold saucepan and add 600ml (roughly 2 1/4 cups) of cold water (or stock, or other liquid) 4. Bring to a boil over med-high heat 5. Once boiling is achieved (visible bubbling), cover tightly, reduce heat to lowest setting and set timer for 18 minutes. 6. At 18 minutes, remove from heat and set timer for another 18 minutes. No peeking!! Do NOT lift the lid and allow steam to escape. 7. At the end of the second 18 minute mark, lift lid and fluff with a fork. for Rice Pilaf, the timing is exactly the same, but you do not rinse the rice, and you add the uncooked rice to sizzling mirepoix. Once the rice is opaque or browned as desired, then add 600 ml of water or stock or other liquid and continue as above. :)
  • Mansoor K
    Mansoor K
    My rice package says use 6 cups of water to 1 cup liquid. Now should I use that or 3 to 1?
  • Leigh S
    Leigh S
    Mansoor, I think there is either a typo in your question (6 cups water to 1 cup liquid) or in the instructions on your package. I suspect you meant to say "6 cups water to 1 part RICE." All I can suggest is that you experiment. Different types of rice cook differently, and depending on the cooking method, will require different amounts of liquid. Personally, I like my rice soft, but not mushy, so I use minimal liquid, and slow methods of cooking to allow for good absorption.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Leigh and Mansoor- The 6:1 ratio of liquid to rice sounds very, very high... most are in the 2:1 to 1:1 ratio (depending on soaking and rice type) except for risotto which can use more because of the evaporative nature (i.e. uncovered pot) of the cooking method and the "wet" final result. I hope this helps!
  • Mansoor K
    Mansoor K
    Leigh, sorry for the typo. Yes I meant 6 cups water to 1 cup rice. I noticed the package says to throw away some liquid after a while. So I guess you end up with 2:1. Anyway, I made the rice as the recipe and it turned out great!

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