Cilantro Lime Jasmine Rice is both aromatic and refreshing, with the fragrant jasmine rice acting as the perfect backdrop for the zesty lime and vibrant cilantro. It’s a simple yet elegant side dish that pairs well with a wide range of cuisines. Whether you’re looking to spice up your next taco night or add some zest to your grilled seafood, cilantro lime jasmine rice is a delicious and versatile choice.
I associate cilantro lime jasmine rice with grilling season which for us in Florida starts a little earlier during the year. We can’t really grill in August down here:). I love serving this rice with mango salsa, chicken kebabs, ceviche, guacamole, burritos and even beans!! It really is a great side dish.
While I love jasmine rice in general for its aroma and flavor, I cook a simple olive oil jasmine rice to serve as side dish for stews in winter time. But this recipe with cilantro and lime is bright and perfect for refreshing meals.
This is a very simple side dish which really does have very few ingredients too. I will add some replacements in the side of each line.
- Jasmine Rice – while I prefer jasmine rice because of the flavor and aroma, you can also make this recipe with basmati rice or long grain rice. In that case, you might need to add a bit more water.
- Cilantro – fresh cilantro smells amazing. I know that where are people who can’t taste cilantro or it tastes weird to them. It’s hard to replace this herb and achieve same results. Feel free to use the herb of your choice to replace.
- Lime – Lime makes this simple side dish. I use both the zest and freshly squeezed lime juice. You can use key limes or lemons too.
- Olive Oil – Extra virgin olive oil is my favorite oil to use to make this rice. I often eyeball the quantity of olive oil I add to the pot, which means I end up adding an extra teaspoon or so:). You can use other oils, but I really think olive oil is necessary in this side dish.
- Garlic – Sometimes I use garlic confit instead of fresh garlic for that added aroma and flavor. It’s not an overwhelming flavor, but it definitely adds to the layers of flavor to this rice.
- Salt – I love using sea salt, specifically Mediterranean sea salt. That’s a personal preference. If you’re going to use kosher salt or any other salt, just taste and adjust to your liking.
- Water – I can write a whole article on water and rice. It’s a science on its own. But if I summarize it, I would say that for 2 cups of jasmine rice I use 3.5 cups of water with the caveat that when you add water to pot, heat is on medium. Once it starts boiling, lower heat to low and don’t cover the pot yet. Once there’s not more visible liquid, then lower heat to simmer and cover with a lid.
Step by Step
Ok, this is a simple recipe and chances are you can make this without even looking at a recipe. But if you’re new to cooking, I got your back with some extra tips.
First, I use a simple medium size pot to make this rice.
- Clean rice from any potential impurities, rinse and let it air dry in a colander. It’s important to let the rice air dry thoroughly because we’ll toast the rice later and it won’t toast well if it’s still wet.
- Add olive oil to a medium size pot, turn heat to medium. Add crushed garlic to olive oil. I use a similar garlic crusher to this one, as long as garlic it’s peeled, it works perfectly.
- Once garlic is aromatic, add rice and start using a wooden spoon to toss it around. If you leave it too long without moving it around, it will burn. You want to toast it and get it coated with olive oil, possibly all the grains.
- Once rice looks shiny and has toasted for 2-3 minutes, add water, salt and zest of one lime. Mix once and let it start cooking.
- As water starts to boil, lower heat to low. When liquid has started to dissipate, then cover the pot with a lid and lower heat to simmer. Let cook for the last 10 minutes like this.
- Remove from heat, and let it stands for few more minutes. Remove lid. Add lime juice and freshly chopped cilantro. Fluff with a fork. Omg the smell at this point makes me want to dig in right there and then:).
- Serve as desired with your favorite dishes:)).
How to serve this side dish?
Honestly, if you like rice, you can serve this jasmine rice with cilantro and rice with any dish you’d normally serve with rice.
I specifically like it with burritos, as a side to beans (for example this red kidney beans soup), with summer dishes that have either cilantro or lime as an ingredient because it pairs well. For example I served this rice few days ago with a simple salad and shrimp ceviche that already had cilantro and lime.
Picture was not taken for the blog but I thought you might enjoy to see it as an example.
Cilantro Lime Jasmine Rice
- 1 Medium pot
- 1 Wooden spoon
- 2 cups jasmine rice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 lime
- 3.5 cups water
- 1 cup freshly chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Inspect jasmine rice for impurities. Rinse and drain, then let air dry in a colander.
- Place a medium size pot on the stovetop in medium heat. Add olive oil and using a garlic crusher, crush the two garlic cloves and add them to olive oil. Saute until aromatic.
- Add jasmine rice to pot and using the wooden spoon, mix it slowly but constantly. You want the rice to toast but not burn.
- Once rice is all shiny and toasted, add water, salt and zest of one lime. Mix everything once to incorporate, but don't mix again after this.
- When the water starts to boil, lower heat to low. Wait until water is not visible on the edges of the pot, then cover the pot and put the lid on. At this point, let it cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let it sit for few minutes to absorb the steam.
- Remove the lid. Add freshly squeezed lime juice and chopped cilantro. Fluff with a fork while you incorporate the juice and cilantro. Add rice to a serving dish:). Enjoy with your favorite food!
- Leftovers hold well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in an airtight container. I usually warm up in a skillet or microwave. If rice has gotten too dry from sitting in the refrigerator, add a tbsp of water or oil lightly the skillet before warming rice up.
As rule of thumb, I tend to estimate and 1 cup of uncooked rice will serve about 3 people. Since we’re a family of 4, I tend to cook 2 cups of rice and that makes about 6 portions for us. There are some factors that might cause some variability for example, if this side dish is served with beans, chicken and other smaller side dishes I will get more leftovers. But if I serve this side dish with a salad and seafood, chances are that we all will consume a bigger portion.
I believe there are some similarities but I know theirs is not jasmine rice. I am pretty sure their rice has other ingredients in it and the recipe is not exactly public to compare ingredients. So really, I can’t say how close it is as a recipe. My kids say that the flavor is similar and that’s good enough for me:).
If you would like to save this recipe for later, please save the below image to your boards in Pinterest. Let me know in comments if you have any questions! I love to see your creations too and how you serve the food, feel free to tag me in social media with your pictures of this recipe. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading my blog!!
Additional Side Dishes
Here are some additional side dishes :).
- Broccolini with almonds and lemon
- Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
- Cilantro and Yogurt Dip
- Marinated Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
- Marinated Red Peppers in Pressure Cooker