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.
At home, my husband cooks the most. He loves doing it, and I don’t mind just eating. (I cook too, though. Usually at the weekends.)
When I moved to the Netherlands, he cooked rice 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 the 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 a tasty side dish. You’ll see it once you cook it yourself.
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.
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.
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!
Brazilian style rice
These are some of the questions that popped into my mailbox and 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%.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Brazilian beans
- Feijão tropeiro
- Pork stew
Tips for cooking rice the Brazilian way
- Boil up! Not you, the water before adding to the rice. This way it cooks faster.
- Don’t overcook it! The secret to having nice and tender, but not soggy rice is to not let it overcook.
- Optional: To add a little more taste, you can also use part water, part chicken broth.
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.
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.
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.
Pour the boiling water over the rice mixture, reduce to a simmer, 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.
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
Brazilian rice, together with brown beans, is the most traditional Brazilian side dish. It's easily and quickly prepared and tastes far from bland.
- 1 cup (200 grams) uncooked jasmine rice (basmati is also fine), washed
- 3 tablespoons Brazilian sofrito or 2 cloves garlic and 1 chopped onion
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups (700 milliliters) boiling water
- In a colander, rinse the rice thoroughly with cold water until the water becomes clear. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the oil 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 onion and garlic for a couple of minutes until they are soft and translucent.
- 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.
- Pour the boiling water over the rice mixture, reduce to a simmer, and cover the pan.
- Cook the rice covered until all the water has been absorbed.
- 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!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 99Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 857mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.
Tuesday 22nd of March 2022
Would it be possible to cook this in a rice cooker?
Wednesday 23rd of March 2022
Absolutely! My mom only uses a rice cooker these days and it turns out just the same. Good luck!
Friday 2nd of July 2021
I didn't know that I was cooking rice Brazilian way all the time ;) Just wanted to add that I really like your stories and explanations. I am enjoying your site. Please add more recipes and stories if you can :) Thank you again!
Tuesday 6th of July 2021
Hey Joanna, I'm so glad you enjoyed this site! Comments like these warm my heart and make me want to share more and more recipes. Thank you! :)
Tuesday 5th of January 2021
The difference between in amount of 1 teaspoon sofrito (which I made from your recipe) to 2 cloves garlic and 1 onion seems significant. Would you please clarify? Thank you!
Tuesday 5th of January 2021
Hey Becky, great question! Actually, that is a wrong amount--thanks for pointing it out! I must have had one too many caipirinhas when I was writing it. Joking! I went ahead and updated the recipe. But to answer your question, 3 tablespoons of sofrito replace 2 cloves of garlic and a medium onion. Sorry about that! I hope you enjoy your rice!!