To tell you about the secrets of the perfect concon rice first let’s start with what Dominican concón is, and why we love it so much. Then I'll share with you my secrets of how to make a perfect layer of this flavorful, fun, amazing, golden, crispy rice you'll soon become a fan of.
Why we ❤️ it
If you are not Dominican and have never lived in the Dominican Republic, you will probably not understand Dominicans' passion for concón. My suggestion is that you try it; you could be surprised just how much you'll love it too.
For us, concon may be the best part of our lunch, a limited treat we hope our plate we'll be blessed with.
Concón is the crust of crispy rice formed at the bottom of the pot when you cook rice Dominican-style. Concón is not a dish in itself, just a byproduct of our cooking method to make rice.
The most common one is arroz blanco concón.
The perfect description I ever heard of what concón tastes like: "concón tastes like buttery popcorn", but with a very crispy mouthfeel.
Concón, pegao, etc...
Concón is our Dominican crispy rice, but it's not a unique concept in the least.
Similar rice is called pegao rice in Puerto Rico, nurungji in Korea, tahdig in Iran, hkaka in Iraq, raspa in Cuba, cocolón in Ecuador, socarrat in Spain, guo ba in China, graten in Haiti, pegado and cucayo in Colombia, kanzo or emo asi in Ghana, tutong in Philippines, xoon in Senegal, koge in Japan, etc.
What makes a concón perfect?
- It is perfectly crispy.
- It is a thin film.
- It is not burnt.
Use the correct cooking pot. Preferably cast iron or cast aluminum; however, cast aluminum is the standard in the Dominican Republic. You also need the perfect-sized pot; a pot that is too small will tend to burn the rice at the bottom. For a perfect concón the rice, once cooked, should not occupy more than ¾ of the pot (better yet, if it is only half).
To start, you need to quick-cure your pot, if your pot is not already seasoned. To do this, add vegetable oil (one that is good for frying) and cover the bottom of the pot with it. Add salt. Heat oil until it is hot enough for frying, then add water at room temperature (careful with splatters!). That will seal the pores in the pot, creating a Teflon-like film.
It doesn't matter what you've read out there, practically any pot can make concón, and I've tested that over the years. It all comes to how you cook the rice.
Rice to water ratio
To get a good concón, you need to make good rice. It should be firm but chewable. You will need to get the right proportion between rice and water to achieve this. Too much water will ruin your rice; too little and the concón will burn.
In each of our rice recipes, we give you the proportions we use; however, over time you may need to adjust the proportions to the type of rice you use, the stove you use, and the pot you have. The perfect rice can rarely be achieved on the first try.
- You will need to stir the rice very often to prevent the rice at the bottom from overcooking and eventually burning.
- Every time you stir it, make sure to remove the film that is forming at the bottom; concón has to be produced in the last stage of cooking. If you leave a film of rice to stick to the bottom too early, it will be too thick and will burn
- When the water has evaporated, and it is time to cover the rice, do so promptly. Pour two tablespoons of oil (optional) and stir again, removing the film at the bottom. Cover with a tight-fitting lid.
- After 10 to 15 minutes (depending on how much rice you are cooking) repeat the process above, but leave a thin coat of rice at the bottom. Once the rice is ready (firm and chewable) put the rice in the serving bowl immediately. If you leave the rice in the pot for too long, the concón will get soggy.
- After serving the rice, wait a couple of minutes for the concón to cool down and settle. Scrape off the bottom with a spoon (a wooden spoon if you do not want to scratch your seasoned cast iron pots) and serve alongside your rice. Don't be mortified by the noise; it’s a big chorus in the Dominican Republic at lunchtime.
Dominican white rice and locrio con con with chicken, and beans.
Concón goes great with some Habichuelas guisadas (stewed Dominican beans), or the sauce of one of our guisado (braised) meats, like Pollo guisado, Cerdo guisado or Res guisada.
Throw in some avocado slices on the side, they're always welcome.
About this recipe
To learn how to cook concón you need to learn how to make Dominican-style rice. The easiest, and the most common one is white rice. So this is where we'll start.
If you have any tips to share, we'd love to hear it; leave it 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!
[Recipe + Video] How to Make Concon de Arroz Blanco
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 cup 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). Scrape off the concón (rice stuck to the bottom) and serve on the side 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.
Dominican concon – known as pegao in Puerto Rico – is a layer of crispy golden rice that is made when cooking Dominican-style rice.
Each country and region will have a different name. It is called socarrat in Spain, concon (or con con) in the Dominican Republic, pegao in Puerto Rico, raspa in Cuba, cocolón in Ecuador, etc.
It is called pegao, but be mindful that it is not supposed to burn, just golden-brown and crispy.
Socarrat is the crispy layer of rice at the bottom of the paella pan.
Concon is Pegao in Puerto Rico.