Mexican-Style Rice (Sopa Seca)

Total Time
Prep 0 mins
Cook 30 mins

"Sopa seca" literally translates to "dry soup". A friend of ours from Mexico served this delicious rice sidedish to us and I enthusiastically went about finding a recipe for it. This is from the cookbook Mexican: Healthy Ways With a Favourite Cuisine by Jane Milton. A more glutinous rice dish than the ever popular Spanish rice. Is this an authentic Mexican recipe? I don't know, but I do know we like this dish!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large heatproof bowl, pour boiling water over the rice enough to cover. Stir only once, and let stand 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer to a colander over the sink and rinse rice under cold water. Drain again. Set rice aside, spread out on a cookie sheet to dry slightly. (I usually do this first thing in the morning.).
  3. In the meantime, put the tomatoes, onion, garlic and half of chili pepper into a food processor or blender. Process until smooth like salsa. Set tomato mixture aside.
  4. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy saute pan and cook rice until a light golden brown color. Stir constantly so that rice does not burn, scraping bottom of pan with spatula because the rice grains will stick.
  5. Next add the pureed tomato mixture and keep stirring over medium heat until all the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. If mixture starts to boil, reduce heat. *Stir in the stock, salt, and green peas. Continue to cook the mixture on low-medium heat stirring occasionally until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, another 10-15 minutes. Be careful not to burn.
  6. *NOTE: DO NOT stir rice too often after adding the stock or the grains will become too starchy.
  7. The original directions say to remove pan from heat, cover with tight-fitting lid; letting stand in a warm place 10 minutes or so. I remove pan from heat, cover and place pan in low oven, at approximately 150-200 degrees. Sometimes I'll let the rice set in the oven for a good hour or longer, as long as the rice grains are tender and rice doesn't dry out too much.
  8. Transfer the cooked rice to a serving platter, fluff with fork and serve sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with thinly sliced chilis or serve on side.
Most Helpful

5 5

"It's soooo good." -DH

5 5

While this takes a bit more effort than I'd like for a side dish, it is absolutely worth it! I have donet this now with both canned and fresh ingredients. I've also used jarred jalepenos and sweet onions. While fresh is best, this recipe is totally worth doing if you don't have the fresh stuff on hand, It tastes even better the next day. I like to use a mix of corn and peas for color and sweetness. My one year old loves it, too! (He likes spicy stuff.) Don't leave out the salt, it is important and I am not a salt fan. When I make this as a side dish, I usually eat more of this than the main course and tend to wolf it down in the middle of the night when no one is looking. Thank you a million times over!