Costa Rican White Rice Recipe


White rice is to Costa Rican cuisine what salt is to ocean water- essential. I didn’t grow up eating rice, but I definitely learned to do so not long after moving to Costa Rica- mean, I was literally served white rice three times a day. It’s an essential part of many staple recipes such as gallo pinto and the casado, and accompanies many soups (olla carne, garbanzos, and the tortilla soup, to name a few.) Interestingly enough, white rice is part of what is called the canasta basica, and the Costa Rican government regulates inflation rates on rice, beans, coffee, sugar, and other essential products for the Costa Rican diet- that way food basics are always affordable to the general population. And it is, of course, gluten free! (This post contains affiliate links to help keep Pura Vida Moms running.)


There are a zillion ways to make Costa Rican white rice in the rice cooker (I have had this same Aroma rice cooker for the 11 years we have been married and it is great. Never replaced it)(affiliate). This recipe is the way we make it on a daily basis at Casa Pura Vida. Here’s our recipe:



  1. Put 1-2 TB cooking or olive oil (affiliate) in the bottom of the inner pot of your rice cooker.
  2. Press the button or level that turns your rice cooker on to cook.
  3. Measure out the number of cups of rice that you need and pour them into the inner pot. We use long grain or Jasmine rice (affiliate), but you can use any type of rice that you want. We buy rice in 50 lb increments at our local Asian market because it is so much cheaper.
  4. Add 1-2 teaspoons of salt. We prefer to use sea salt (affiliate) because that is what is used in Costa Rica.
  5. Allow the rice to heat in the rice cooker until the cook level pops up or the button turns off. While the rice is cooking, sitr it occasionally to evenly brown and cook. (We often skip this step if we are in a hurry, but it does give the rice a nice depth of flavor).
  6. Add the same number of cups of COLD water as rice to the inner pan, and stir again. Then add an extra half to 3/4 cup of water.
  7. Put the lid on and cook until finished.
  8. Remove the lid, and stir the rice to fluff it up. Serve with your favorite dish (like this amazing carne en salsa roja…)cooked-white-rice

Do you eat white rice with your family? How do you prepare it? What’s your favorite white rice recipe?


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