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Brazilian Rice: How to Cook Rice the Brazilian Way

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The Brazilian rice is by far the main side dish made in Brazil. It’s quick and easy to prepare, and today you’ll learn how to cook rice the Brazilian way yourself.

Brazilian rice recipe Pinterest graphic

At home, my husband cooks the most. He loves doing it, and I don’t mind just eating. (Although I cook too, usually at the weekends.)

When I moved to the Netherlands, he cooked rive using the drain method and he didn’t add anything to the rice other than water.

I hated it.

Don’t get me wrong. I know this is a matter of taste, but I was used to eating Brazilian garlic rice, which is basically rice with onions and garlic.

As simple as it is, this white rice recipe has a small improvement that can make such tasty rice. You’ll see it once you cook it yourself.

Brazilian rice and beans recipe

Brazilian food

Rice is an intrinsic part of Brazilian cuisine. We usually eat it twice a day as we have a warm lunch in Brazil.

Yes, twice. At home, we had Brazilian rice dishes nearly every day, to be honest. One of them was this one-pot Brazilian chicken and rice recipe.

But actually most households in Brazil also do the same because it’s an easy and quick side dish that pairs very well with brown or black beans, vegetables, and meat.

Brazilian rice and beans accompanied by some meat, fries (yes, double starch is common in Brazil), and a salad is a typical Brazilian dinner or lunch.

How to cook white rice
Your recipe for Brazilian rice by a local

Brazilian rice recipe

I read an analogy about it that made so much sense to me, “This simple little twist on basic, bland white rice is like putting whipped cream and a cherry on an ice cream sundae. It’s still the same but delightfully enhanced.”

And that’s exactly what it is. This recipe is not only a creative but also a savory way to make rice.

In all fairness, this is not my recipe. I didn’t create it.

This Brazilian white rice recipe has been passed through generations and generations in Brazil, so you can safely say this is a traditional Brazilian recipe.

That’s why this recipe isn’t just any recipe. It’s a nostalgic one that reminds me of my childhood in Brazil.

Brazilian rice recipe

In my family, it all started with my grandma who taught my mom how to cook rice on the stove, who taught my sister.

What about me? Well, I only learned how to cook rice when I wasn’t living at home anymore.

I basically called my mom and said, “Mom, help! How do I cook rice?” She laughed at me, obviously.

Oh, and about my husband, ever since he tasted this garlic onion rice, he never prepared the old recipe anymore. Now, he only looks up for flavored white rice recipes.

I hope you like it too!

Garlic rice

Brazilian style rice

These are some of the questions that popped up in my mailbox as well as some questions from hubby and his family about how to cook Brazilian rice.

Why should you wash rice?

Because it removes some of the arsenic found in rice.

So does rinsing rice remove arsenic?

It reduces the arsenic amount, but it won’t remove it completely, though. Rinsing rice before you cook white rice can reduce arsenic levels by 28%.

How to cook white rice
Brazilian rice is easy to prepare and pairs well with many dishes

Do I need to soak white rice?

No, that’s not necessary. The rice cooks quickly and easily enough without it.

What is the healthiest type of rice?

According to a study on arsenic in rice by Consumer Reports, brown rice has higher levels of arsenic than white because brown rice has the bran (an outer layer), and that’s where high levels of the arsenic are found.

The bran is removed to make white rice, so if you eat a lot of brown rice you might want to switch it up with white.

Different types of rice
White rice (Jasmine), wild rice, and brown rice

However, brown rice is typically thought to be a nutritionally better choice when compared to white rice.

That’s because brown rice is a whole grain, meaning it contains all parts of the grain, including the fibrous bran, the nutritious germ, and the carb-rich endosperm.

On the white rice, the bran and germ are removed, removing much of the fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients.

What is the best rice to eat for weight loss?

The best rice for weight loss is the brown one because it’s full of dietary fiber which boosts your metabolism and helps in weight loss.

For instance, 100 grams of brown rice contains about 111 calories, while the white rice has about 130 calories for the same amount of grains.

How to cook white rice

Is white jasmine rice healthy?

Yes, but its brown version is healthier. The brown rice of all types of rice is usually better than the white ones, as described above.

What is the healthiest white rice?

Basmati rice is the overall best choice. Brown or white, it has the least amount of arsenic and the most vitamins and minerals, plus it’s not as calorically dense as most other types of long grain rice.

What is the fastest way to cook rice?

The fastest way to cook rice is by using boiling water in the recipe instead of waiting for it to boil with the rice.

Brazilian rice recipe

What is the ratio of rice to water?

2 to 1. Always remember that the ideal ratio of rice to water is 2 to 1. Two cups of water to one cup of rice.

What to put on rice to make it taste better?

Usually, adding salt will make a great difference in the taste as salt enhances flavors for our taste buds.

But in this recipe, we’ll add two more ingredients: Brazilian sofrito, or is you prefer, garlic and onions.

What is a good seasoning to add to rice?

Besides the ingredients mentioned above, you could add ground pepper, lemon pepper, dill, oregano, or parsley.

But note that the traditional Brazilian rice doesn’t have these seasonings.

My favorite dishes to serve with rice

Tips for cooking rice the Brazilian way

  1. Boil up! Not you, the water before adding to the rice. This way it cooks faster.
  2. Don’t overcook it! The secret to having nice and tender, but not soggy rice is to not let it overcook.
  3. Optional: To add a little more taste, you can also use part water, part chicken broth.
Brazilian rice ingredients

How to cook rice the Brazilian way

As said, Brazilian rice is by no means a complicated or time-consuming dish. Here are the directions for preparing the perfect rice.

And that’s perfect because you can create lots of white rice recipes for dinner, for example.

Anyway, let’s get started with my recipe for Brazilian rice.

In a colander, rinse the rice thoroughly with cold water until the water becomes clear. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. It can be olive oil or any vegetable oil of your choice.

In the meantime, boil water in a tea kettle.

Next, sauté the Brazilian sofrito or onion and garlic for a couple of minutes until they are soft and translucent.

How to cook Brazilian rice
Sauté the onion and garlic

Add the rice and salt and stir occasionally to make sure the rice doesn’t stick to the pan. Let it cook for a couple of minutes to seal the rice so that it will be nice and loose after cooking.

How to cook Brazilian rice
Add the rice and cook it for a few minutes

Pour the boiling water over the rice mixture, reduce the heat to the lowest possible, and cover the pan.

How to cook Brazilian rice
Add boiling water, lower the heat to the minimum, and cover the pan

Cook the rice covered until all the water has been absorbed. You can check if the water is absorbed in the bottom of the pan by using a spoon.

How to cook Brazilian rice
It takes about 15 minutes to the rice completely absorb the water

Remove from heat and let it rest for about 5 minutes.

Transfer the cooked white rice to a bowl and fluff it with a fork before serving. Bom apetite!

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Brazilian rice recipe Pinterest graphic
Brazilian rice recipe

Brazilian Rice Recipe

Yield: 5 portions
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Brazilian rice, together with brown beans, is the most traditional Brazilian side dish. It's easily and quickly prepared and tastes far from bland.

Ingredients

  • 12.7 ounces (360 grams) washed jasmine rice (basmati is also fine)
  • 1 teaspoon Brazilian sofrito or 2 cloves garlic and 1 chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cups (1200 milliliters) boiling water

Instructions

  1. In a colander, rinse the rice thoroughly with cold water until the water becomes clear. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. It can be olive oil or any vegetable oil of your choice.
  3. In the meantime, boil water in a tea kettle.
  4. Next, sauté the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes until they are soft and translucent. 
  5. Add the rice and salt and stir occasionally to make sure the rice doesn't stick to the pan. Let it cook for a couple of minutes to seal the rice.
  6. Pour the boiling water over the rice mixture, reduce the heat to lowest possible, and cover the pan.
  7. Cook the rice covered until all the water has been absorbed.
  8. Remove from heat and let it rest for about 5 minutes.
  9. Transfer the cooked white rice to a bowl and fluff it with a fork before serving. Bom apetite!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 151Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 857mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g

Make the recipe?

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