If there is one staple in Hispanic food culture, it is definitely Spanish rice. Growing up, my mother’s rice (which was really my abuelita Jennie’s recipe) was included with our meals at least three times a week. When I moved out on my own, I could not cook my mother’s famous rice. I would under cook it, over cook it, you name it. I felt like it just wasn’t quite right. My sister Jennie had the same experience. My sister Yolanda still hasn’t perfected it (although her husband says he loves it). I am not exaggerating when I write that it took me ten years to master making Spanish rice. How do I know that I’ve finally mastered it? My sisters claim that it tastes just like mom’s…finally…success.
Now, as a mother, I make a modified version of this rice for mi hijo (who thankfully is a Spanish rice lover). What I now omit in this dish that both my grandmother and mother added is the bouillon, which is quite old school and contains MSG. I also use a low sodium broth and tomato sauce with no added salt. I still add salt—just far less then what I grew up with. After making these changes, I have grown used to less salty rice and it is quite delicious.
Here is how to master the art of making this Latin staple.