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?


5 Answers 5


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.

  • Did you really mean long-grained? Arborio and valencia are medium-grained. (Or maybe short-grained, depending on who you ask.)
    – Cascabel
    Commented Mar 16, 2012 at 1:54
  • yes, you are correct. Edited.
    – KMC
    Commented Mar 16, 2012 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
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 3:03
  • So Arborio rice isn't Spanish, it's Italian. And Valencia rice is a short-grain rice which is used in Paella, but not in a Mexican rice preparation like the asker calls for. That requires a long-grain rice.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 3:45

I will give you my tips and recipe. The best rice for mexican recipes is «arroz tipo morelos» (morelos state rice). When I cook this rice I do the following:

1.5 cups of arroz morelos

2 tomatoes

cooking oil, maybe 1/4 of cup, maybe a little less.

2 cups of chicken broth if you don't have use water and knorr suiza.

Optional: Knorr suiza chicken broth powder (caldo de pollo en polvo knorr suiza THIS IS THE ONE OPTION MEXICAN PEOPLE LIKE).

IMPORTAN THE PAN in which you will cook the rice need to have a lid.

Wash the rice with water, put in one strainer so it will lose the water (the washing process should not take more than 2 minutes, otherwise you can break the rice grains). Then put the oil in the pan, you can add a few of white onion, and cook it 1 minute, then quit of the pan. After the oil is hot, add the washed rice, make the stove flame smaller. DON'T MOVE IT in some minutes, maybe one or two, or the rice will collapse. Then, move the rice, fry it, it should be light golden color. After that, put two small tomatoes in the blender, add few some water, make a puree this should make 1 cup of tomato puree. While you are still frying the rice, add the tomato puree, add some knorr suiza at your taste, also a pinch of salt. In two minutes after the tomato puree and rice are incorporated, add the chicken broth (you can also use water with knorr suiza chicken broth powder). Put the flame to the maximum, make it boil. Put the lid over the pan, put the flame into the minimum as if you were to turn off the stove. Let it cook 25 minutes or so. It is important to use low flame so the rice will be cooked and the water consumed otherwise the water will be evaporated and the rice will be not properly cooked. The final result should be a rice in which you can separate grain by grain.

Btw, Also when frying the rice you can add some diced carrots (very small squares less then one cm) and fry together, then follow the same process.

If I can, I will later make a video of the process and share.

This is the recipe I use in Mexico. I'm Mexican.

Best regards!


The real answer is to make rice cracked is to use a pressure cooker, and just use the right amount of water. If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can preheat the rice on an iron skillet for a few minutes before adding it to the cooking pot. A third method is baking the rice a few minutes in the oven before adding it to the cooking pot to cook. But we got perfect results in our restaurant by using a pressure cooker. this will not only give cracked rice, but the perfect fluffy rice with the best flavor, that not even an expensive rice cooker can achieve.


OMG, I've been trying to reproduce the same cracked rice effect my mother used to make. I know she only used long grain rice, but I'm still trying to perfect the cracked-ness! I know she never washed it or soaked it before cooking, and she always called at Mexican rice, she was from Mexico, but her family was from Spain. She used to give people that one raised eyebrow look when they called it Spanish rice😂 The last batch I made, I gave it a little longer cooking time. It actually started to crack! The other tip from her was boiling the broth and spices before adding it to the brown rice. Be careful, cuz this could be dangerous while pouring it into the rice!

  • Howdy! To have a successful answer, I suggest giving the asker more specific instructions on how to cook the rice.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 3:42

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.

  • 2
    This really doesn't answer the original question.
    – lemontwist
    Commented Jan 27, 2013 at 21:07
  • 1
    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
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 13:29

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