Super Mexican Recipes

Fast, Easy, Fun Mexican Recipes

Mexican Rice — Arroz Mexicano

Sopa de Arroz. The name used to confuse me. Sopa. Isn’t that soup? Why are you offering me soup and giving me rice? It’s just a phrase. It means rice cooked with a consume of water, garlic, tomato and salt with vegetables. My daughter loves her God-mother’s sopa. 
I cooked it with her on more than one occasion, but alone, I just couldn’t seem to get it right. Ever have a dish like that? This is my nemesis. Or it was. Then I adjusted a few things and made several batches in one day. I got it down now. 

The lovely finished product


2 tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 a medium onion
Water (or use chicken stock. More flavor! )
Puree the above with water and set aside.

Carrots (as fine as the peas)

Set aside until rice is ready and add with the tomato broth listed above.

Heat the oil in the bottom of the pan. A flatter pan is better than taller for more even cooking.
One fistful of dried rice per person

Isabel commented gave me a “rule of thumb” that I will never forget. One fistful of dried rice gives us a general sense of how much to serve per person. I am ever grateful because I couldn’t seem to get proportions correct.
Mix the oil into the rice, coating it all and stirring as you go. It should be on medium-high heat at this point. 

When all the rice has been slightly toasted, you will notice a difference in color between grains. Don’t let it brown too long or it will change the flavor. 
Pour in the tomato broth and add the veggies. Stir. Still on medicum-high.

You should have enough liquid to cover the rice or it will be too dry.
Bring to a boil covered, then turn the temperature down to LOW. This is very important. 

Confession: I burned the first to batches I made because I didn’t turn it low enough, while there was water on the top, the bottom was scorched. I had to scrape the pan. I wasn’t too happy about that, but evidently I wasn’t displeased enough to learn the first time in a day, it took three times.

Did I tell you that I’m really learning how to lower the temperature on my stove? Gas reacts so much faster than a glass stovetop. I miss my old stove.

It doesn’t take long to make. I’d say 15 minutes is good. Check it and make sure that the rice on the bottom is not burning and the water on top is mixed in. The picture below is what it should look like when you open it the first time. There is a little bit of water on the right, but it’s going to get absorbed because this was prepared the day before eating.

Sopa de arroz

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  1. Elizabeth

    How much water should I use in the puree step? I assume it depends on how many fistfuls of rice I plan to cook? Thanks!

    1. Super Mexican Recipes (Post author)

      Hi, Elizabeth,
      The best rule of thumb is to cover the rice completely. If you made your puree and it doesn't cover, you can add more water without a problem. If you take a close look at the picture with the veggies floating in it, then you can't even see the rice. Just be sure to scrape the pan so that the rice loosens and can all absorb the water.

      Cooking like this is an art that has been passed down. My Sister-in-love said that her mother didn't use recipes and that's how she learned. Most of the things I learn from my Mexican side of the family has been in the same form. We rarely pull out the measuring cups and spoons.

      But truth be told, my own grandma (God rest her soul) cooked that way. To put our family favorites down, my Mom had to take measurements of all the fistfuls of ingredients as she added them. I am ever so grateful she did that. Now I have a part of my grandmother's kitchen in a recipe book on my shelf.

      Er, I think I just told you how to make a watch…

      Let me know how your rice turns out!


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