The Perfect White Rice (Cuban Style)

As a Cuban American, I am deeply and morally opposed to brown rice. I understand all of you people who value health over deliciousness, but really, white rice is the only thing that should exist. Now I am on board with enjoying varieties of white rice. Basmati and jasmine? Bring them on.

Given my level of fidelity to white rice and its amazing ability to complete any vegetarian/ vegan meal with a sense of heartiness, I wanted to share my tried and true recipe for cooking white rice. I most often use it with Jasmine, but any long grained white rice will be delicious prepped this way.

I feel like this recipe is a bit of a secret because my dad taught me it and I have only seen this method in Cuban cookbooks. But as a generous evangelizer of white rice, I decided to share it.

I rarely use a measuring cup when making this at home. I just grab a bowl or mug and use a 1 part rice to 2 part water ratio for cooking, seasoned with a heavy sprinkling of salt. For you, I have provided measurements, but know you can always stick to the 1:2 ratio and be successful with this method.

The magic to this is the process of cooking off the water uncovered and the cooking the rice for exactly 8 minutes with the lid on. Why this is magic? I don't know...I would have to ask my Abuela.

So onto the recipe- the ultimate key to rice success. May it bring you the happiness it has brought us!

The Perfect White Rice (Cuban Style)

Printable Recipe

Servings 3-4


  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • 1 cup long-grained rice

  • 2 cups water

  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)


  1. Heat a medium saucepan that has a lid over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Warm until fragrant but not smoking, and then add the rice.

  2. Toast the rice, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Then add the water and the salt. Stir.

  3. Turn the heat up to high. Let the water boil away, NOT stirring the rice, until craters form on the top of the rice.

  4. Once craters form and there is no water covering the top layer of rice, stir the rice once. Cover the pot and turn the heat to low.

  5. Cook the rice for exactly 8 minutes (it is the magic number).

  6. At 8 minutes, uncover the rice, fluff with a fork and enjoy!

Buen Provecho!

♡ Elena