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Mexican Restaurant Style Rice


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Ever wish that you could replicate the delicious rice you're served at Mexican restaurants? This Mexican restaurant style rice can be the star of your taco night! 

Mexican Restaurant Style Yellow Rice with Tomatoes 3

Earlier this week, I posted a recipe for Shrimp and Avocado Ceviche, inspired by my favorite place on earth, Isla Mujeres. This recipe is also inspired by first visit to the island, in 2011. We were wandering the streets, and I saw a local family eating their lunch. Many of the homes on Isla are open air, and they had their front window (a garage door) pulled wide open to let in the breeze. 

Mexican Restaurant Style Yellow Rice with Tomatoes 2

As we walked by, I peeked in and saw the family sharing their lunch. A few kiddos and mama were sharing a rotisserie chicken, rice, and tortillas. They were tearing off pieces of the juicy chicken, and scooping up rice and then chicken with tortillas. 

I remember thinking to myself, "Wow, we really over-complicate meals back home." Their meal was so simple, but looked so good. In Isla, small roticerias dot the streets. You can pick up a delicious roasted chicken from these little food stands very inexpensively. Pair with rice, beans and tortillas and you have a simple, tasty meal. We also frequent the few barbecue stands that serve ribs, barbecued pork and carnitas and eat them much the same way as the chicken.

Mexican Style Yellow Rice with Tomatoes 1

This rice can be the star of your meal. In this picture below, I rubbed some red snapper with chili paste and lime juice then broiled it, heated up tortillas, heated up canned black beans (with squeezed lime juice and cilantro), and made the rice. The rice was the most labor intensive part of the meal. We made little roll ups with the fish, rice and tortillas, and all three of us were very happy. Excuse the pots and kitchen towels I used as potholders, we are obviously very fancy people around here! 

Mexican Restaurant Style Yellow Rice with Tomatoes 4


Yield: 3

Mexican Restaurant Style Yellow Rice

Mexican Restaurant Style Yellow Rice


  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups water, set to boil in medium sized pot
  • 1 - ½ cups uncooked yellow rice
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 2 roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • Optional: 1 cup corn or frozen mixed vegetables, add at the same time as tomatoes


  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and rice and cook, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. Be careful that the garlic doesn't burn.
  2. In a separate bowl, dissolve the bouillon into boiling water.
  3. Add cayenne to rice and onion mixture in skillet in skillet. Pour the bouillon/boiling water mixture into the skillet. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  4. Add tomatoes. Cook over low heat, stirring until tomatoes are heated through, about three minutes.

 Mexican Restaurant Style Yellow Rice


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Shrimp and Avocado Ceviche Cups
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