This post shows you how to make fluffy Mexican rice in the Instant Pot – Tender, fluffy grains infused with a smoky tomato broth!
A LIFELONG LOVE
My dad made the best homemade Mexican food.
Fajitas, rice, beans, enchiladas, tacos…he did it all, and it was so, SO good! Amazing, considering he was a full-blooded Czech.
He loved to cook, though, and having lived in Arizona for most of his adult life, he was exposed to some of the most delicious Mexican food in the nation.
Over the years, I’ve partook of nearly every good (and not so good) Mexican restaurant north of the national border. While I’ve not had the privilege of being taught an age-old recipe, I have a decent idea of what Mexican rice should be, and this recipe comes pretty darn close!
In my humble, European-rooted opinion, a good Mexican rice relies on simplicity. It lets the rice and tomato shine through without the use of a lot of add-ins.
MY VERSION OF MEXICAN RICE
Let me be clear so as to avoid offending…this recipe is my personal version of Mexican rice. I try to stay true to what I’ve grown up with and known all my life, but there are a few differences.
For one, I don’t use broth. I’ve done a good amount of research online, and most ‘authentic’ recipes call for chicken broth, which I don’t buy and (typically) don’t make. Because of that, I’ve added in some onion and garlic to compensate, along with a good dash of cumin.
Another change is that I rinse my rice before sauteing it. I like my rice fluffy, which is accomplished by rinsing off the starch from the grains. If you don’t wash the grains, the rice will be much more ‘sticky’, in a similar vein as risotto.
This point is a bit more flexible, in terms of authenticity. I’ve had rice both ways, so it’s hard to say what’s what in that regard. I’m team ‘Fluffy’ all the way!
The last detail is that this recipe is obviously made in the Instant Pot! I love the pressure cooker for its convenience, in terms of walking away, but it’s not the most original way to prepare this dish.
How To Make Fluffy Mexican Rice in the Instant Pot
- 2 Tbsp olive or grapeseed oil (grapeseed is more neutral in flavor)
- 1 cup long-grain white rice (I like basmati)
- 1/4 cup yellow onion chopped
- 1 large garlic clove minced
- 1/2 cup tomato puree (see Notes)
- 3/4 cup water (can use broth if you like!)
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt to taste
- 1/4-1/2 cup cilantro chopped
- First, rinse your rice well in a fine mesh sieve, about 10-20 seconds.
- Put the rice in a dish towel and pat it dry.
- Hit the 'saute' button on your Instant Pot, and add in the two tablespoons of oil.
- Once the oil is heated, add in the rice. Saute the rice for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the grains are a bit darker in color and you can smell the rice.
- Stir in the onion, garlic, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and cook for another 15-20 seconds.
- Pour in the tomato puree and water, and give the mix 1-2 small stirs, just enough to combine the ingredients.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot. Set the Pot to cook at high pressure for 4 minutes.
- After the 4 minutes, let the pressure naturally release (in other words, don't touch anything!) for 10 minutes. The display will read: LO10.
- Manually release any remaining pressure and remove the lid.
- Fluff the rice with a fork and add in the cilantro.
- Once cool enough to taste, check for seasoning, serve, and enjoy!
I like to use Pomi brand strained tomatoes (see right below) for this recipe. It’s a bit thicker than your average tomato sauce, FYI.
I like to use the higher end amount of cilantro, since I love the stuff. Use however much you personally like.
Some of the items I use in this recipe include:
Rinsing the rice…
Heat the oil…
Sauteing the rice…
Add in onion, garlic, cumin, salt…
Tomato puree and water…
And just take a gander at that fluff!