A plate of well-cooked, steaming, glistening arroz blanco (Dominican rice) is a thing of beauty, and one no Dominican voluntarily goes without. The perfect arroz blanco is proof of expertise for any Dominican cook. Learn everything you need to know to make it perfectly.
Why we ❤️ it
Arroz blanco (Dominican rice) is the staple of La Bandera Dominicana, the traditional Dominican lunch meal. Anyone willing to get into this world of Dominican cooking needs to learn how to make perfect white rice. We had this recipe independently tested, read more further down.
For us, rice day is any day that ends in y, and rice and beans are much more than just food, they are part of our cultural heritage. For us, "no hay comida sin arroz" (there's no lunch without rice). You just have to see just how many Dominican rice recipes we have.
What is arroz blanco?
Arroz blanco is simply white rice cooked with just water, salt and oil. The result is a steaming plate of rice with firm but cooked-through rice grains.
See all the useful information I've added to help you make it great arroz blanco, or jump to the recipe if you are an experienced cook already.
Type of rice
The common Dominican rice is white, long-grain rice, or Carolina rice. It has a medium starch content, which makes it very versatile, and can be made into anything from fluffed white rice to thick pottages.
I personally do not wash rice. Unless the rice is of very low quality (you can see debris, for example), I suggest you don't either. Rice is already quite low on nutrients, washing gets rid of nutrients.
Type of oil
Typically, we use neutral-flavored vegetable oil (corn, soy, peanut), but I have tried it with coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, and even butter. Each will impart a different but still enjoyable taste. Do your own thing.
How to cover
No, I don't use a plastic bag (Dominicans would know what I am talking about), that and anafes went the way of the dodo. A pot with a tight-fitting lid is enough, and you don't want unknown chemicals leaching into your food.
Dominican rice pot
The Dominican rice pot is typically a cast aluminum pot with a tight-fitting lid, and we call it paila or caldero.
The pot has to be at least twice as large as the amount of rice and water combined for best results. A pot that is too small will result in unevenly cooked rice. Better too large a pot than too small.
If you do not have one of those, I have successfully made Dominican-style rice in many other types of pots and used all kinds of cookers from charcoal to induction. I also regularly test my rice recipes in more than one type of cooker. You may need to do some at-home experimentation, but it's completely doable with what you have at hand.
Arroz blanco (white rice) and Dominican lunch.
Water to rice ratio
How much water you'll add to the rice will depend on the recipe you are preparing. As a general rule, I add 1.5 cups of water per cup of rice for arroz blanco, and 1:1 for locrios and moros that contain vegetables and herbs, as those release liquid while they cook. Asopaos and some other recipes will vary significantly. Typically you'd add a teaspoon of salt [6 grams] per cup of raw rice.
|White rice||1 cup||1.5 cups|
|Locrio||1 cup||1 cup|
|Moro||1 cup||1 cup|
|Asopao||1 cup||3 cups|
Portions may vary for each family, but as a general rule, I serve 1 cup of rice if it's a side dish (arroz blanco, moro), 2.5 cups if it's the main dish (like locrio), and 3 cups for rice soups (asopao, chambre).
For this recipe, I have increased the portions sizes close to what is typically served in the Dominican Republic. Here's how I calculate how much rice I need to cook for white rice.
|Rice portions||Raw rice amount|
|1 person||½ cup|
|2 people||1 cup|
|3 people||1.5 cups|
|4 people||2 cups|
|5 people||2.5 cups|
|6 people||3 cups|
Once cooked the rice is served, and the crispy crust at the bottom of the pot (concón) is removed to be served as a treat (see the complete guide to concón to learn more).
What to do with leftovers
White rice never goes to waste in our country. If you have leftovers, you can make Chofán (fried rice), Yellow rice, and rice, sweet corn, and pineapple salad. My mom used to make Arroz con leche with leftover arroz blanco.
We typically serve white rice with a "guisado" meat recipe, like chicken, beef, or pork. A popular meatless choice is Berenjenas asadas (roasted eggplants) or fritas (fried eggplants), and my go-to vegan one is Repollo guisado (stewed cabbage).
Alongside arroz blanco there is almost always some type of bean recipe served, like red, or black, or the popular guandules.
To finish your meal, serve a Dominican salad, and some tostones. Maybe some arepitas de yuca o de maíz if you want to go the extra mile.
About this recipe
There isn't really that many ways to make arroz blanco, so the recipe will be pretty much the same regardless of home or region.
This recipe was tested by Sagrario Matos, and some of her tips have been incorporated into the recipe. This is a short version of her report:
The recipe works. The result is similar to other Dominican rice recipes, and the time indicated in the recipe is correct. Main tip: You can give a twist to the traditional recipe with sesame oil, coconut (or include coconut milk) in its preparation.
If you have any tricks you'd like to share, please let me know in the comments!
This awesome free recipe contains Amazon affiliate links, we receive a small commission from any purchase you make at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
Arroz Blanco [Recipe + Video] Dominican White Rice
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 4 cups rice, (long grain, Carolina)
- In a medium aluminum pot (Amazon affiliate link) (minimum 2.5 liters [0.5 gal] capacity) heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat, add the salt. When the oil is a little hot add 6 cups [1.4 liters] of water, taking care not to splash.If you use another type of pot, just combine oil, salt, and water and heat over medium heat.
- When the water reaches boiling point, add the rice and cook, stirring regularly to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
- When the water has evaporated, cover with the lid and cook over very low heat (but enough to generate steam) for 15 minutes.Remove the lid, stir, add the remaining oil and cover again. This oil will help the rice to shine, and the concón will be crispier.In 5 more minutes taste the rice, it should be firm but soft inside. If necessary cover again and leave for another 5 minutes on low heat.
- As soon as the rice is ready, remove it from the pot and place it in a serving dish (this prevents the concón from getting soggy), and fluff it with a fork. Scrape off the concón (rice stuck to the bottom) and serve separately.Serve per suggestions above the recipe
Tips and Notes
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.
Arroz blanco dominicano is made by cooking the rice in boiling salted water, once the liquid has evaporated, the rice is covered with a tight-fitting lid and left to simmer until the rice finishes cooking. A crispy film of rice is produced at the bottom, which we call concón.
Arroz blanco is eaten for lunch several times a week. It is typically served alongside meat, beans and salad.
Published Dec 26, 2001, revised