Mexican White Rice Recipe / Receta de Arroz Blanco Mexicano

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My Dad loved to have his rice cooked this way, which he used to call “Arroz a la Morisqueta”, since that’s how they call it in the region alongside the Gulfof Mexico, where my hometown of Tampico is located. This is not to be confused with another dish that's also called "Morisqueta" in the west coast, particularly in the state of Michoacán. That other dish has rice and beans mixed with other spices, similar to the cuban dish "Moros con Cristianos".
The rice in this recipe will make a terrific compliment to dishes like Mole Poblano, Asado de Puerco, Short Ribs in Green Sauce, and many other Mexican stews. It also makes a nice dinner topped with a fried egg and served with some fried plantains.The preparation of this rice varies from region to region but the end result is the same. You can also cook it using lard like they do in some areas of Tecamachalco, Puebla. This just brought back the memory of a farm wedding I attended there, where the Mole Poblano was served with white rice cooked in lard. Now whenever I make Mole Poblano at home, I add a dab of lard to the vegetable oil that I fry the rice in.

Ingredients for 4 Servings

  • 1 Cup of Rice
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 3 Tbs. white onion chopped
  • 2 Tbs. Vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste
  • A few drops of lime or lemon juice
  • Optional: 1 or 2 sprigs of parsley or cilantro, 1 Serrano pepper
1. Place the rice in a bowl with warm water and set aside for 15 minutes.
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2.  Meanwhile, place the chopped onion, clove of garlic and 1/2 cup of cold water in a blender and process until you have a smooth mixture.
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3. After 15 minutes, drain the water and rinse the rice with the help of a colander and cold water until water is clear. Make sure to drain well and shake any excess water, it has to be as dry as possible.
4. Add vegetable oil to a saucepan or Cazuela  and place over a medium high heat. Heat oil and add the rice. Fry the rice, stirring constantly until it becomes transparent, about 12 minutes. With the help of a spoon, drain any excess oil after this step.
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5. Add the Onion and garlic mixture to the rice and stir (be careful not to break the rice grains). Arroz Blanco6aArroz Blanco7
6. Add the hot water, parsley sprigs, and Serrano pepper (if using) and a few drops of lime juice.
7. When the water starts boiling, lower the heat to the lowest temperature, season with salt to your own taste and cover the saucepan. Do not remove the lid.
8.  After 20 minutes the water should be absorbed almost completely. The rice should look cooked and soft. Remove from heat and let stand for about 10 minutes. Discard the sprig of parsley and serve. Rice will keep cooking with its own heat.
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  • Be careful not to over brown rice while it is frying.
  • You can also use Chicken broth instead of the water or chicken bullion dissolved in water, but then your rice won’t have a white color.
  • If the water evaporates before the rice is cooked, add more hot water over the rice. About 1/3 of a cup, making sure not to mix the rice again.
  • Some cooks prefer to add the garlic and finely chopped onion while frying rice.
  • The grains of rice should be cooked and fluffy when the rice is done.

¡Buen provecho!


Sharing with Full Plate Thursday and Simple Lives Thursday.


  1. I rented a back house from a woman who was born in Cuba. She simply rinsed the rice, boiled as you would normally boil rice but added 2 cloves of crushed garlic and a few tablespoons of olive oil (eyeballed). So good. I'm going to try this way as well, the onion/garlic water probably adds so much flavor!

  2. That sounds and looks so nice, Mely! I will have to try it. :)

  3. Delicioso Mely y acompañado de ese chilito serrano woooooo riquisimo, te queda bien lindo super blanco, gracias por compartirnos tu receta, linda semana amiga besitos.

  4. Mely, I am going to make this rice, delicious it has lot of flavors.

  5. My mom fries the onion with the rice and back in the day she used lard. YUM!

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  7. Mely,
    encontré platanos machos maduros hace dos días y tenía la firme intención de preparar un arroz blanco para acompañar los platanos fritos.

    Gracias por leer en mis pensamientos!

    Un abrazo

  8. Ay Mely, que lindó arroz! A mi me encanta el arroz blanco y puedo vivir de puro arroz. Yo lo preparo de la manera más sencilla que te puedas imaginar; 1 taza de arroz y 1 1/2 taza de agua, a la lumbre, tapar y cocinar por 15 minutos y listo. Tu receta es estupenda! La probare muy pronto.

  9. must try this subtle and lovely flavors infused into the rice love it

  10. I'm making these right now to serve with my Mission Style Burritos I'm serving for our Super Bowl. Party. Can't wait to taste it!!

  11. Hi Mely,
    What a beautiful Rice, so delicate and full of flavor. Have a great week and thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  12. Mely, te quedó precioso! A mi me encanta el arroz blanco cocinado a nuestra manera, con cebolla y ajo (yo soy de las que ponen todo picado) Así, le pongo más ajo, como mi mamá. Y a veces le pongo elote desgranado. Me gusta mucho con plátano jamaico, con rebanadas de aguacate o guacamole,con pico de gallo, o solito.


    1. Que rico el arroz con platano y aguacate, Nora. A mi me encanta o con un huevo estrellado encima.



  13. I have never managed to make rice this way, I'm such a bad mexican! siempre se me bate :( creo que tiene que ver con las ollas que uso y la estufa que es electrica.

    Se ve delicioso!

    1. Hola Pau,

      Despues de que le pongas el agua no lo muevas. Dejalo que se cocine a fuego lento y trata en un sarten de teflon grueso para que no tengas problemas.

      Saludos y que te quede mucho mejor la proxima vez que lo cocines.


  14. I initially thought "rice is rice" but now you have me wanting to try this. A little bit more steps than the usual but the results look great.

  15. Can you cook the rice without frying it beforehand?

    1. Hello Moi, Yes, you can cook the rice without frying, but there is a reason for frying the rice. And that is to avoid it from sticking all the grains together. Just make sure you rinse it very well to remove as much starch as possible.


  16. Hello Mely,

    Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe! I made the rice with the ribs in tomatillo sauce and some fresh tortillas! Nothing like some great therapy cooking some delicious food! I can't wait to try more recipes.

  17. Hello Mely,

    Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe! I made the rice with the ribs in tomatillo sauce and some fresh tortillas! Nothing like some great therapy cooking some delicious food! I can't wait to try more recipes.

  18. HI Mely. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us.I just finished cooking the rice and I'm in love with the flavor and texture. It is so good and yummy!


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