Delicious Dominican Cuisine

A Buen Tiempo... Buen Provecho! ;)

Dominican style White Rice/Arroz Blanco estilo Dominicano

Making the perfect pot of white rice can be tricky and frustrating if you’ve never made one before.  Sometimes the rice can come out hard and undercooked, or “empastado” which is pasty and clumpy.  Following these simple steps and using the exact measurements, you should be able to make a delicious pot of rice in under an hour.

For starters, I recommend you use a “caldero” since many of the non-stick pots that are available now make it difficult to get “concon” with your rice.  “Concon” is the rice that sticks to the pot and is very delicious served immediately after the rice is cooked.  It stays crunchy and tasty even when smothered in some beans!

To make the perfect pot of white rice you will need the following ingredients:

5 cups of white rice (long grain)
7 cups of water
4 tbsp of olive oil (or vegetable oil)
1 teaspoon of salt

To begin, in the pot, add the oil and salt and put on high heat.

Wait a couple of minutes, then add the water, cover and let it come to a boil.While the water is coming to a boil, take the rice and wash it with generous amounts of water and drain.

Personally I think that washing the rice makes it taste much better.  Some people don’t like to rinse their rice because it washes away the “nutrients” which is really somewhat a myth, unless the rice is enriched.  Besides, white rice is not very nutritious, so I would rather wash it and have it taste better than cooking it straight from the bag.

Swirl it around gently with your fingers for a few seconds while the water is running then dump the water carefully and rinse with fresh water.

When the water is translucent and somewhat clear (it will never be crystal clear,) the rice is clean.  Drain and set aside.

Before adding the rice, this will be a good point to taste the water and see if the salt level is to your liking.  I usually cook my food low in salt, so 1 tsp is more than enough for me, however, some cooks like to add more salt to their rice to make it more savory.

Add the rice to the water and stir well.

A nice technique to check if the water level is good is to take a table spoon (for this amount of rice the large cooking spoon wont work) and stick it in the middle.  If the spoon stays standing, you’re in good shape. 🙂  Don’t get discouraged if this trick doesn’t work though!  I have tried it with other pots of rice and the spoon just wouldn’t stand straight, but the rice came out just fine.  I got lucky this time around! 🙂   But this is a nice technique that alot of experienced cooks (especially Dominican) will tell you that this is the best way to check if you have the right measurements.

As the rice cooks it will start to absorb the water.  Stir occasionally to avoid excessive sticking.

When the rice has absorbed most of the water, it is ready to be covered.  A good way to check this is by taking the spoon and opening a “path” in one edge of the rice.  If you notice that there is no excess water seeping into the opening, the rice is ready to be covered.

Before covering the rice, pile it into a little mountain in the center of the pot, to avoid some of the rice from sticking to the sides.

Most Dominicans like to use a plastic bag under the pot cover to make sure their rice cooks properly.  I am not like most Dominicans when it comes to that aspect since I feel that melted plastic (usually the plastic melts on the edges) is hazardous to the health, therefore, I prefer to use Aluminum foil.

Cover, lower the heat to medium – low (it can be tricky on electric burners, I have a gas burner and I have to keep mine more towards a medium heat in order for the rice to cook well).  If you have a gas burner that is very potent (mine is not), put it on lower heat to avoid burning.  Once covered, let it cook for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, uncover and your rice should look like this.  Nice and “graniaito” (grainy) as we like to refer to it. 😉

Stir the rice, bringing the rice that is on the bottom of the pot to the top.  This will cause the rice to get nice and fluffy.  Cover again for 5 minutes.

Now the rice is ready to serve!  Let’s not forget about the “concon” though.  Pour the rice into a serving dish leaving the stuck rice in the pot.

With a hard spoon, scrap the sticky rice and place in a serving platter.

Serve nice and hot (especially the concon, it gets very hard once it gets cold) with a side of beans!

Buen Provecho! 😉


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  1. Tony Santana

     /  October 5, 2011

    I would like yo take this time to say thank you for your website that help me. Am from Dominican (Santiago)… live all my life in USA… Am very happy to be Domincano.

  2. Paola

     /  October 29, 2011

    JANET! Tus recetas son lo maximo! I’m born and raised Dominaicab but now live in NY and love cooking but I don’t cook Dominican food as much as I would like. You have inspired me with your Website, thank you!
    I’m making Pollo guisao con arroz blanco y habichuelas rojas y unos tostonsitos…will let you know how it turned out:)

    • Janet O.

       /  November 8, 2011

      Me alegro que te gustan mis recetas, siempre estoy a la orden para compartir. Estoy segura de que tu comida te quedo riquisima! 🙂

  3. el pollo Negro

     /  November 7, 2011

    Soy un negro de villa meya , y vivo en barcelona.El arroz me salio mejor que los chicharrones de mi pueblo jajaja

  4. Mariant

     /  October 22, 2012

    Hi Janet! I was born and raised in DR and recently moved to TX, I havent seen calderos ANYWHERE! I’m about to try this recipe in a non stick saucepan…. Just to see how it comes out… Do u know where can I get a caldero?

  5. Saskia

     /  November 13, 2012

    Thabks for the help. I was born in Chile but adopted by an American family. My Dominican is very very very picky especially about rice. Thanks for the help with the cooking!

  6. Shannon v

     /  December 20, 2012

    Do you have an recipe for “moro de guandules” or “arroz con guandules”? I am American and I am trying to make that rice (which is my husband who Dominican favorite). I looked everywhere but i love your step by step way of giving the recipe it makes it so easy for someone like me who has never made this style of food.


    • Janet O.

       /  March 28, 2013

      SO sorry for the late reply. I plan on posting that recipe very soon.
      – Janet

  7. Nathali

     /  February 3, 2013

    Primero que todo gracias por tú receta. Me encanta tú blog. Ya hice Pollo guisado y mi propio sazon. Te quería preguntar, como cuántos servings son? De nuevo gracias!

    • Janet O.

       /  March 28, 2013

      Los servings dependeria de la cantidad que comen cada persona. Yo diria 5 – 6 servings.

  8. Brenda

     /  March 11, 2013

    Hi I have been to the Dominican many times and stayed outside the resorts with different families. I too noticed the plastic grocery bag under the lid. I asked about it and suggested that it may not be good to be eating the burnt plastic and asked why don’t they just use the lid on it’s own. No one could give me a good reason for the plasic except ‘that’s just how you cook it’. I’ve been trying to figure it out and I can’t. Maybe it somehow keeps the heat even in the pot, I don’t know BUT it can’t be good for us to eat the burnt plastic nor the chemical fumes from it! Do you know of ANY other reason they ‘do this’?
    Just Curious

    • Janet O.

       /  March 28, 2013

      I don’t know why they use the plastic bags. Most people just say they use it because it helps the rice cook better, so it doesn’t stay hard. I find that cooking without the bag and just the lid is fine. Sometimes I use the aluminum foil because the cap of my caldero is a bit loose and the foil helps trap most of the moisture inside. I’ve noticed that with many calderos the cap of the handle gets loose very easily and much of the moisture escapes through there so perhaps that’s how the practice of using the plastic bags came around? I’m not really sure what the proper answer to that is though, I just don’t feel comfortable using that method to make ricelol!
      – Janet

    • MKyle

       /  May 6, 2013

      Brenda — I’m not from DR, but my parents are from Haiti and they use the same methods to cook their rice. The reason that most Dominicans and Haitians use plastic bags is that they believe the plastic bags help retain moisture in the pot/caldero.

      And while that is true that the plastic bags do keep the moisture in, it’s really not worth the health risk. People seem to forget that they give plastic bags away at stores for a reason! They are super cheap and it’s because they are made with horrible chemicals such as Polyethylene (PE), and Bisphenol A (BPA) — which have been linked to a wide range of health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, thyroid disorders, ADHD, infertility, erectile dysfunction, early-onset menstruation and obesity.

      And if you are like most haitians /dominicans — you eat rice almost daily, so the level of chemicals going into your system are much greater by using plastic to make the rice “cook better”. So why risk having any one of those health problems by using plastic when you can just use something else?

      Janet — your alternative to cooking rice using aluminum foil is excellent – and I wish more people would find this article, so that they can save their lives and their health!

      • Janet O.

         /  May 7, 2013

        Great explanation on the probable hazards of cooking with the plastic bag. It is very much appreciated!
        – Janet

  9. Estefania

     /  March 29, 2013

    Hello janet, i love your website im from Argentina but my boyfriend is Dominican, and you know how that is they loveee to eat dominican food that means i have to learn every food, and tomorrow im making chuletas a la sarten que ya las sazone x la noche para coconarlas mañana con arros blanco y gandules, pero im sad because you only have the receipe of gandules con coco

    • Janet O.

       /  March 30, 2013

      I hope you enjoy the chuletas recipe. You can always omit the coconut milk from the guandules if you are not fond of it.

  10. JLPerez

     /  April 3, 2013

    My mom taught me a really funny but good trick to making white rice & it always comes out perfect!! I used to use a regular pot to make rice, I now have a rice cooker but the trick works either way. After rinsing your rice level out the rice while holding the pot under the water (WASH YOUR HANDS!) barely touch the top of the rice with your middle finger (without putting a dent in the rice) add water until the water reaches the first line on your middle finger lol (usually that’s about an inch). The rice comes out perfect every time without having to measure the rice and water. I have NEVER used measuring cups to make rice and I make white/ brown rice all the time.

  11. Gabriela

     /  May 31, 2013

    Hello, How would you cook rice for a party of 3?

    • Janet O.

       /  June 12, 2013

      If you use stainless steel cookware or non stick cookware you can cut the recipe in half and just cook 2 cups of rice and 2.5 cups of water. If you use a caldero, you can cut the recipe in half and that should be enough for 3 people.
      Hope this helps!


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