Make rice the Brazilian way!

Brazilians love rice and so many Brazilian dishes are served with it. Not boiled rice! Brazilians like to fry and then steam their rice - a combination of methods which make the rice very flavoursome and fluffy. It's a fairly simple recipe to make but the secret to success or disaster is a combination of the amount of water and heat.


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Half cup finely chopped onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups of long-grain easy-cook white rice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • boiling water

How to prepare (feeds 4-6)

  1. Add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil to a pan on medium heat.
  2. Add the finely chopped onions and garlic and fry for a couple of minutes until translucent.
  3. Add the rice and the salt and stir with the onion and garlic mix for a minute or so.
  4. Add enough boiling water to cover the rice plus 1cm extra.
  5. Cover the pan and lower the flame to a very minimum.
  6. Let the rice steam for 20 minutes. After this time all the water from the bottom should have disappeared and the rice should be soft but not mushy and really fluffy.
  7. Serve piping hot.

Rice troubleshooting

  • TOO HARD: When the rice is ready try a few grains before removing from the fire. If it's still a little on the tough side, add a litte more boiling water, cover the pan and let it steam for another 5 minutes. Reapeat if needed.
  • BURNT BOTTOM: Rice on top seems fine but bottom is burnt. Very common. Scoop all the good rice from the top and don't tell people about the burnt bottom. They'll never notice. Unless you burnt it so bad it all smells like flaming rubber tires.
  • SOMEWHAT MUSHY: You can get away with overcooking it a little. Switch the fire off, lift the lid and add a folded tablecloth on top of the pan. Then place the lid on top of the tablecloth and let it rest for a few minutes. This should help it let go of some of the steam and you might get away with it.
  • QUITE MUSHY: Well... how about throwing it away and start again?? It's only rice. It's not lobsters or Foie Gras! Plus it only takes 20 minutes to do it again. And this time watch the amount of water and heat you use. Less of both is probably the answer.
  • CAN I USE THIS RECIPE TO MAKE ENOUGH TO FEED THE SPANISH ARMY?: (thanks for the question José!) You can push this recipe as far as 4 cups or rice. More than that and you'll be sailing into uncharted waters - and you don't want to disappoint the Spanish army!

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