Sunday, May 13, 2012

Foreigner Joy Cooks: Spanish inspiration

Back in my home country I can easily go to the store and get a rice mix to take home. You know one of those "Spanish" or "Mexican" ready-made rice mixes that you just throw in a pot with some water, and you're done. Not really the case in Korea, where rice mixes tend to lean more towards a Korean flavor. In this case, I realized that I should just try to make the same thing but from scratch.

So I did some searching and found a good recipe from All titled, "Best Spanish Rice." Truth be told, I don't really know what true Spanish rice tastes like, and can only assume this recipe is not the real thing. But my gut tells me I'm mostly following an Americanized version of something here.


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup chunky salsa

Thankfully, all of those items are easily attainable in Korea. The chicken broth can be found at Homeplus, and salsa is seen in regular supermarkets here, too. I also managed to get a hold of some cilantro from my local Lotte Mart, and knew I had to include it. The "Mexican-style Chili Powder" was my own addition I had brought back from home. 

The cooking process was quite simple and pretty basic.
  • Saute onions in the oil in your large skillet / pot. I had no real sauce skillet thing so just used my regular pot.
  • After onions have become slightly clear mix the rice into the pot and stir till it looks kind of brown.
  • After this pour in the liquids (salsa and stock) and all your other extras (cilantro...seasoning). Stir and bring to a boil.
  • Once simmering, reduce heat to low and let cook for 20 minutes. However mine finished before that, as I think my gas stove is just too powerful.

To complete this meal I made bean tacos to accompany the rice. The refried beans came from an order I made online via I haven't found refried beans at my local Homeplus or Lotte Mart, but have seen other canned beans, such as black beans and cannelli. I think a black bean taco could also work. Tortillas are something you could easily make yourself here, but if your like me you can just buy them locally. 

The final result was a wonderful and delicious meal, and made even more better because I didn't have to trek anywhere to get it. 

I highly recommend making this at your home, and maybe inviting some folks over to enjoy it with. 

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