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I've been trying to reproduce my favorite kind of Mexican or Spanish style rice that I find in some restaurants. It is dry and fluffy and seems to be cracked or split open. I've gone through many different recipes and videos but the rice always seems to have more moisture than I'm looking for (intentional, for the recipes I'm following) and no split-ness.

I've tried both standard pan and a pressure cooker methods.

Anybody know what the style of rice is called, more specifically, by my description of "cracked/split" and perhaps the secret to making it?


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You have to use the right type of rice - Spanish Rice, (such as Arborio Rice or Valencia Rice). This SA post may be helpful to you. You can buy Spanish Rice on amazon.

Don't use rice cooker or pressure cooker. You suppose to toast the rice in oil and fry it with ingredient. See this post for more information.

If you want to increase further the "crack-ness" of the rice, I suggest to soak it in water for few hours before rinsing it. Every time I left the rice forgotten in water they end up breaking apart after cook.

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Did you really mean long-grained? Arborio and valencia are medium-grained. (Or maybe short-grained, depending on who you ask.) – Jefromi Mar 16 '12 at 1:54
yes, you are correct. Edited. – KMC Mar 16 '12 at 2:01
Soak/fry/simmer. The frying "cracks" the rice. After that step, you can finish (simmer) in a pressure cooker if you are in a rush. Good Mexican or Spanish food is not made in a rush :-) – TFD Jan 28 '13 at 3:03

Cracked or split open rice sounds like instant rice to me. I used to use it exclusively in the olden days. It was always fluffy. I imagine some restaurants might use it to save time and trouble.

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This really doesn't answer the original question. – lemontwist Jan 27 '13 at 21:07
I think this does attempt to answer the question, it's just very probably wrong - the difference between reasonably authentic spanish rice and instant rice is like night and day. – Aaronut Jan 28 '13 at 13:29

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