TexMex Rice, without the packets and MSG.

Joined May 10, 2016
So, has anyone ever pinned down cooking TexMex style rice (Like you'd find at a good TexMex place) at home without just giving up and using a yellow rice mix?

The closes I've ever come is those that use a salsa in them along with chicken broth.. But it's still missing something.

I'm thinking maybe Saffron or perhaps pablanos ?

What is your opinion ?
Joined Sep 5, 2008
I wouldn't use Turmeric for Mexican (or Tex-Mex) rice? For me the color comes from the cumin and the tomatoes. I never thought of achiote oil myself (never used any). 

I've done it with shortcuts (garlic powder, cumin powder, tomato paste....) but I suppose it would be better with real tomatoes and real garlic. 

So basically sauce the rice in oil for 5 to 10 minutes to toast it, add spices (cumin, garlic, chili if any, tomato paste...) and cook the spices for a few minutes, then add chicken stock, cover and let cook. 
Joined Apr 25, 2011
Phatch is right that achiote oil is the proper way to do it, and KK has a good substitute with turmeric. (I have made it that way many times and it tastes great and adds heath benefits of turmeric)   However,I find aji amarillo powder   and Ro*Tel to be great way to make it.

However, if you want the true way (at least as far as I'm aware)

Steep a small handful of Annato seeds in a neutral oil for 15-20 minutes in med saucepan.  The oil should turn a deep amber

Strain and return 2 tbspn oil to pot.  Increase heat to med high

Put in half onion 1/4" dice, 2 tbspn minced garlic, and 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapenos and sweat for 3-5 minutes.

Add in 2 1/4" dice roma tomatoes and cook for 1 minute more.

remove from pan and set aside.

add 1 tbspn oil to pan and heat to med high

add 2 cups long grain rice and toast for about 3 minutes

add onion, garlic, tomato, chile mixture

add 1 tspn cumin, 1 tspn black pepper, 1/2 tspn granulated garlic, 1/2 tspn cayenne

add 4 cups chicken broth

stir and cover

turn heat to med low and leave alone for 11 minutes

after 11 minutes stir, remove from heat, place paper towel over pan and replace cover

let sit for 10 additional minutes

season to taste

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Joined Jan 13, 2011
I don't really know about yellow Tex-Mex rice but red rice is made using fresh tomatoes, tomato bullion or tomato sauce.  The way that I make it is I first fry about 1 cup of  rice in a bit of oil until it starts to change color, then I add in about half of a sliced onion and one clove of garlic that I have pressed with a knife, and cubed fresh tomato. Saute until the rice has turned a deep golden color.  Then I add a small can of tomato sauce and cook it for about 30 seconds with the rice before I add boiling water ( about 2 cups)  I season with what I have on hand, most common is plain salt to taste, or Knorr Caldo de Pollo (chicken bullion powder). /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
Joined Jun 27, 2012
My golden standard for TexMex yellow rice is in the Los Barrios cookbook (old school restaurant in San Antonio on Blanco road).
They also use chicken bullion cubes.
If you are ever in the Alamo City and have a hankerin' give them a whirl.
I always have the skirt steak with a cheese enchilada on the side.
DO slather the meat with their in house chimichurri....totally addictive.
Buy a jar to take home for a souvenir...as it is the one recipe that is super secret and not in the book ;-)

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