“What can I bring?” I asked my friend as we planned a surprise birthday party for another one of our friends. “Can you bring rice?” she said. “Sure, no problem!” I replied. After all, rice was an easy dish for this Asian gal to prepare. But then my friend added, “Can you bring cilantro and lime rice like they serve at Chipotle?” While trying to remember if I’d ever tasted Chipotle’s rice before, I uttered, “Ohhh, okay . . . !” My friend cheerfully said, “Great!” and I mumbled back, “Yeah, great . . . .” and headed off to find the nearest Chipotle restaurant.
That conversation began my quest for a cilantro and lime rice recipe. Luckily, I found several online and I diligently read through them all. After experimenting with a few recipes, I ultimately found one that needed only a few minor tweaks and that tasted really good. Wanting to simplify the recipe, I cooked the rice in my rice cooker instead of a saucepan and was delighted with the results!
The light and refreshing flavor combination of cilantro and lime just can’t be beat and makes this rice dish a perfect accompaniment for grilled meats and seafood. Particularly, it’s a great complement to any of your favorite Mexican entrees. Serve this easy rice dish at your upcoming Cinco de Mayo celebration and be prepared to share the recipe with your guests – you’ll be asked for it!
Cilantro and Lime Rice:
Adapted from a recipe by Rockin Robin
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 cup basmati rice
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 + tbsp fresh lime juice
zest from one lime
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tsp salt
1. Add the oil and butter in a saucepan and heat on low until butter has melted. Add the garlic and rice (uncooked) to the oil mixture and saute for two minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently and being careful that the garlic does not burn.
2. In a mixing bowl stir to combine the chicken broth, salt, and lime juice.
3. Transfer the rice mixture to a rice cooker (or leave in the saucepan if not using a rice cooker). Add broth mixture to the rice. Cover and cook. (If not cooking a rice cooker, bring rice and broth to a boil, then cover saucepan and cook over low heat until done.)
3. When rice is cooked, add the lime zest and chopped cilantro and stir gently to mix. Serve immediately.
1. It is easiest to use a rice cooker – both to cook and keep the rice warm. No worries, though, if you don’t have a rice cooker, this delicious rice can be made in a saucepan. See above instructions.
2. I rarely add the full teaspoon of salt that is called for in the recipe. Depending on the sodium level of your chicken broth, you may need to adjust the amount of salt you add. I use low-sodium chicken broth and find that 1/2 teaspoon is enough for my taste buds even when I make a double batch.
2. After adding the lime zest and the chopped cilantro to the rice, taste and then adjust the seasonings. I often add more lime juice at this point and most of the time will not add the full amount of cilantro.
3. It’s better to add the zest and the cilantro as close to serving time as possible, so that their colors remain vivid and fresh – inevitably their colors will darken as they heat up.