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HOW TO MAKE STEAMED RICE : Arroz al Vapor

mexican food STEAMED RICE

As long as you make a few adjustments to your usual method for making rice, your slow cooker can double as a rice cooker. For the best results, use converted (which is not the same as instant) long-grain white or brown rice, which stays perfectly al dente and does not clump.
Tossing the rice with a small amount of oil before cooking it also helps to keep the grains separate and fluffy. Regular long-grain white or brown rice works perfectly well, but it will require more experimentation, due to its variable size and moisture content, and it will also tend to be softer and stickier when cooked. If you’re using regular rice, you may want to experiment with using slightly less water—as much 1 tablespoon less per cup of rice.

Normally  mexican food rice is never stirred while it cooks. However, because the slow cooker heats from the sides in to the center, a good stir about 30 minutes into the process seems to help the rice cook more evenly. You should also turn the earthenware insert in your cooker 180 degrees after 1 hour, as cookers often heat unevenly.

At the end of the cooking time, when the rice has absorbed all the visible water, turn the cooker off but do not remove the lid or stir for 15 minutes. This will allow the rice to evenly absorb all the moisture remaining in the pot. After 15 minutes, remove the lid and gently fluff the rice with a fork or a single chopstick, stirring just enough to loosen the rice. (Don’t use a spoon, which will crush the soft rice and make it gummy.) Let the rice continue to steam,
uncovered, for another 15 minutes. At this point, the rice can be covered and the slow cooker turned on low to keep it warm.

SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS

2 cups converted white or brown long-grain rice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups water or Caldo de Pollo

 

DIRECTIONS

Place the rice in a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker. Add the oil and salt and stir thoroughly until each grain of rice is coated. Add the water, stir briefly, then make sure the rice is evenly distributed over the bottom of the cooker. Cover, and cook on high. After 30 minutes, gently stir the rice, and after 1 hour turn the earthenware insert 180 degrees.

After 2 hours total, turn off the cooker. Let stand, covered, for 15 minutes, then remove the lid and stir gently with a fork. Let the rice stand, uncovered, for another 15 minutes. At this point the rice is ready to be served. To hold, turn the cooker on warm or low, cover, and hold for up to 2 hours.

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