Monday, February 20, 2012

Brazilian Style White Rice (Arroz Branco Soltinho)

If you walk into a Brazilian home today at lunch time, I assure you there will be rice on the table. If you go back to the same house tomorrow, I assure you there will be rice on the table again. If you happen to knock on their neighbor's door, they will be eating rice too! White rice is stapled to our plates! 

Today I am sharing all the secrets to the perfect Brazilian rice. If you follow all the steps below you will have loose, moist, and flavorful rice every time. 

Just like when you make Risotto or sticky Japanese rice, using the right type of grain is essential. I have tried to make this recipe with several of them, and I can tell you that I got the best results using Basmati rice. I hope you enjoy!

Aside from using the right rice, here are other important tips:
- using a non-stick pan is very helpful
- rinse rice thoroughly 
- after rinsing the rice, wait until it dries before you start cooking it
- use hot or boiling water
- do not stir the rice more than once or twice after you add water. Stirring makes for sticky rice, and we don't want that!
- use medium-high heat for the first half of cooking time, and than lower the heat to a simmer until rice is cooked
- only cover the pot completely shut with a lid during the second half of cooking time (when using low heat/simmer)

All those tips are better explained bellow:

Brazilian Style White Rice (Arroz Branco Soltinho)
yields 3 cups of cooked rice
Prep time: 10 minutes   Cooking time: 20 minutes


1 cup of Basmati rice, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 tablespoons of canola oil 
2 cups of boiling or hot water
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon of salt


1- Rinse rice until water runs clear. Drain it well and set it aside to dry.

2- Meanwhile boil 2 cups of water.

3- When rice is dry and water has boiled you can start the cooking process. Place a small non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil. When oil is hot add the crushed garlic and stir it around while it cooks. When the garlic starts to turn golden in color add the rice and salt to the pan.  Stir rice making sure all grains are coated with oil. Cook it for 6 minutes and then add all the hot water. Place a lid over the pot leaving some room for the steam to come out. Cook the rice for 8 minutes (still at medium-high heat). After the 8 minutes have passed turn the heat to low, give the rice one good stir, and close the pot all the way. Cook rice for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until rice is tender and all liquid evaporated. 
note: if your rice is still hard when all the water is evaporated, add a little more water until rice is tender.


Rinse rice very well and set it aside to dry:

Meanwhile bring water to a boil:

When rice is dry and water is hot, start cooking. Heat the oil over medium-high heat and cook garlic until golden in color:

When garlic is golden in color, add rice and salt. Stir it around and cook for about 6 minutes:

Add hot water (all at once):

Place a lid over the pan but don't close it all the way (leave room for steam to escape):

Cook rice over medium-high heat for 8 minutes. Then turn the heat to low, stir rice around (just once) and cover the pot completely:

Cook it for another 10-15 minutes or until all liquid has evaporated and rice is tender. Rice should be loose and look slightly moist:

Serve as a side just like you do with potatoes, pasta, polenta, etc. 


  1. This is one of my favorites that you make. Yum!

  2. This was really good...and turned out great
    I would defintley use this recipe again!!!!

  3. An simple and tasty alternative than cooking Chinese fried rice.
    I use this recipe when travelling abroad as one does not need many
    ingredients. Bon appetit.


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