I was unaware until I found this recipe, but Dominican cooking was influenced by Middle Eastern immigrants during the 19th century. Arroz con Fideos is a product of these influences. Long grained white rice is tossed with short toasted noodles (Fideos) and cooked in a broth until tender. There are other versions of this dish popular in Egypt (Rice bil Shareyah), Turkey (Şehriyeli Pirinç Pilavı), and Lebanon (Riiz bi Sh’arieh).
Fideo is the Spanish word for noodle. It is a common ingredient in North and South American cooking. These noodles are about the same width as angel hair pasta and you can find them packaged in short pieces or long strands bundled up in nests. If you are unable to find fideos in your area, substitute with angel hair pasta broken into about 1 inch pieces. Break them up in a bag or other controlled environment. Before I found fideos, I often ended up with random pieces of angel hair flying across my kitchen. Fideos can also be found on Amazon: La Moderna Coil Fideo (Pack Of 3).
Keep a close eye on the fideos when you toast them. They quickly turn from golden brown to burnt.
I topped my Arroz con Fideos with a little freshly chopped parsley.
Arroz con Fideos (Dominican Rice and Noodles)
Adapted from Aunt Clara’s Kitchen
5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 cups long grain rice
1/2 cup fideos or angel hair pasta broken into 1 inch pieces, uncooked
5 cups vegetable or chicken broth, boiling
salt to taste
In a large, heavy bottomed pot or saucepan, drizzle 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Once thoroughly heated, add the fideos and cook, stirring often, just until golden. Mix in the rice until all the grains are coated in the oil.
Pour in the boiling broth, seasoning with salt if necessary. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes covered and untouched.
Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons oil and cover for another 5 minutes. Check rice for doneness. If not yet tender, cook, still covered, for another 5 minutes.