Steamed Rice 101: Arroz

Steamed Rice


Did you know that almost every Peruvian entreé comes with a side of rice, and in some cases potatoes too? Potatoes, of course, are indigenous to Peru, but rice was brought to South America by the Europeans. I often enjoy that warm double-starch fusion, specially in one of my favorite dishes — Lomo Saltado, a beef and french fries stir fry served with a side of arroz.

I still remember the first time I cooked rice to help my mom with a dinner party. It was a lifetime ago, but to this day, every time I cook rice I love the smell of the garlic being sauteéd, and I enjoy the warm steam coming off the freshly cooked rice, rising to cover my face. Such a simple pleasure.

Upcoming posts will feature several dishes that call for a side of rice, so I’ll just refer to this recipe for convenience. If you don’t already make steamed rice to go with lentils or beans, for example, I encourage to try this recipe. It’s easy to make, and a great complement to a meal.

  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • a sprig of parsley for garnish
  1. Mince the garlic and rinse the rice with running water until the water runs clear. Drain thoroughly.
  2. Sauté the garlic with the canola oil in a pot over medium heat and add salt to taste.
  3. When the garlic starts to brown, add the washed rice and stir to coat the grains of rice with the oil and garlic.
  4. Add 2 cups of water to the pot, turn heat to high and bring to a boil, uncovered. Wait for the water to reduce to the level of the rice, about 10 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover until rice cooks completely, about 10 more minutes.
  6. Serve immediately, with a sprig of parsley as garnish.

This recipe makes enough for 4 small servings as a side dish. I like to serve the rice using a small timbale mold, it’s a visually appealing way to enhance a simple dish.


The ratio of rice to water is 1:2, or twice as much water as rice, that way it’s easy to make a larger quantity with more servings. You can get the rice from the bulk section of most markets.