Recipe for Dominican white rice follows.
I will discuss rice fully in a separate post but first a few things to know about cooking rice in the Dominican style.
There are many ways of cooking rice, but the most popular method is the absorption method which is basically cooking a calculated amount of rice with a calculated amount of water. Dominican white rice is done by the absorption method.
Because rice is one major staple food there are endless ways of making it in the Dominican Republic. One thing that we traditionally do is to wash the rice thoroughly several times before cooking it. In most of the Asian countries the tradition is the same. The reason we do this is to clean any dirt or dust and impurities from the storing and milling processing. In the United Estate this step is skipped. The truth is that with modern technology the process of milling and storing rice is cleaner.
Dominican Spoon Technique:
In the DR most people use the spoon technique to measure their water when making rice; you can try this technique by doing the following: Stick a table spoon in the middle of your cooking rice, if the spoon stays standing, your water amount is correct and you are good to go otherwise take water out and adjust.
- 3 cups of white rice (long or medium grain)
- 3 1/2 Cups of water
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- Salt to taste
In “a Spanish caldero” or cast aluminum pot add half of the oil, and the salt. Place the pot on the stove on high heat and heat the oil and the salt for a minute or two. This will seal the pot and will lead to a crispy Concon (crispy rice or crust which is the rice that sticks to the bottom of the pot and for the Dominican the most desirable parts of the rice making process).
Add the water and bring to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, take the rice and rinse in running tap water until water is clear. You can swirl it with your finger to speed the process. By washing the rice we get rid of extra starch and will make it less sticking due to the release of starch. The less starched the rice is the more evenly the rice will cook. The end result will be rice which is full of texture and taste.
When water is boiling add your rice and stir well and regularly to avoid the rice from sticking. Do not cover the pot until all the water evaporates. At this point do not allow the rice to stick so continue stirring, preferably with a fork. Good concon forms once the rice is covered and the heat is lowered. Taste your water to make sure your salt is to your taste. If the water is too salty now is the time to adjust before evaporation, take water out and add more or add more salt if needed.
Wait for the water to evaporate to cover your rice. Before covering it stir the rice again and cover it tightly. (My mother used to pile most of the rice in the middle of the pot as a little mountain to avoid the rice from sticking on the sides) You do not want any of steam out the pot. Lower the heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes. Pass the 20 minutes, removed the lid, add the remaining oil and stir the rice from bottom to top. At this point your concon should be ready and crunchy. Cover it again and cook for 5 more minutes, this will allow the rice to absorb the extra oil.
This post is also available in: Spanish