Learn how to make cilantro lime rice - perfect for Asian, Tex-Mex/Mexican, and Middle Eastern dishes like burritos, rice bowls, and more! This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free,vegan, and ready to become your new favorite rice dish in under 30 minutes!
Rinse the rice until the water runs almost clear. I like to actually do this in a large bowl, adding water, swishing the rice around with my hands, then I drain and repeat 3-4 times.Don't omit this step as it eliminates excess starch and is important for achieving fluffy rice perfection rather than gummy yuck-ness.
Step 2: Toast the rice.
Heat the oil (or some butter) in a large pan, add the rice, and stir it to coat the granules with oil.To add extra flavor to the cooked rice, you can lightly toast the raw rice for a few minutes (3-4) until it becomes lightly fragrant.
Step 3: Cook the rice.
Add the water (or stock/combo of both) to the pan with the salt and lime zest.
Bring the water to a boil, stir and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot with a lid. Cook for 12 minutes - don't be tempted to lift the lid at any point.
Remove the rice from the heat and allow it to steam for 10 minutes, placing a kitchen towel (quickly) between the pot and pot lid.Thi kitchen towel will soak up the steam and stop it from condensing on the lid and falling back down onto the rice.If, when you uncover the rice, there is still a little excess water in the pan, then quickly replace the lid and allow to steam for a couple of extra minutes. If you test a couple of rice grains and they're still slightly hard, then place the rice (with the lid on) back over low heat for a further 5 minutes - add a tablespoon or so of water if the rice is dry.
Step 4: Mix & Serve the cilantro lime rice
As the rice rests, finely chop the coriander and juice the lime. Then fluff up the rice with a fork, silicone spatula, or rice paddle and mix in the cilantro and lime juice.
Once mixed, optionally garnish with some chopped spring onion, chili flakes, jalapeno (fresh or pickled), etc., and then serve your lime-cilantro rice while warm!
Fridge: leftover cilantro-lime rice can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days in an airtight container.Freezer: store the lime-cilantro rice in an airtight container (box or bag) for up to three monthsTo reheat: you can reheat the rice in the microwave (around 2 minutes) or on the stovetop with a spoonful or two of water to help steam it as it cooks.Make sure to transfer the rice to the fridge/freezer within two hours of it being cooked to avoid bacteria growth.
Basmati is my favorite rice to use for this Mexican cilantro rice dish. It's more aromatic, so it increases the overall flavor even more.
You can cook the rice in an instant pot or rice cooker too - though I don't own one so can't supply times and water to rice ratio- it's best to check your machine book.
To adapt this cilantro and lime rice recipe to cilantro lime brown rice, use this method for cooking brown rice with the additional ingredients and steps mentioned here.
For cilantro lime rice cauliflower version: Place the cauliflower in a food processor (or use a grater) to get your cauliflower 'rice.' Add it to a large skillet with oil and some garlic and heat over medium heat, stirring often. Add in the lime zest after 1-2 minutes. When it's almost ready, stir in the cilantro and lime, taste, and season with salt & pepper. Since cauliflower rice lacks flavor, I tend to add a little salted butter before serving.
Check the recipe post (above) for other optional add-ins, variations, and serving suggestions!