Since we arrived in the USA, Mexican food has become one of our favorites. Mark loves spicy food and he doesn't often get his fave Indian curries in Michigan (unless I make them) so he's happy to satisfy his palate with the Mexican alternative. We often have tacos on the menu but it won't be complete without the cilantro-lime rice on the side. The citrusy, moist cilantro-flavored rice is such a wonderful side dish that you can serve it even if you're not having Mexican food. We make a big batch of this (just because we love it so much!) and use the left-over for sinangag (Pinoy fried rice) the next day so nothing is wasted.
I have searched the internet for a good cilantro lime rice and I chanced upon this one. I thought the idea was great and decided to try it. Unfortunately, since this was not on a blog post but on a comment page and the person did not wish to reveal his/her identity I don't know who to acknowledge. But am just happy he/she decided to share it. There were no exact measurements given, just mostly the ingredients so I just adjusted it to my taste and feel free to do the same. After all, what may be tart for me may still be sweet or even bland for somebody else!
A rice cooker would be handy for this but you can always use a large sauce pan and cook the rice on the stove top. For this dish, basmati is the best rice to use for it doesn't get sticky and the grains remain separated even after the oil and the citrus juice has been added but if you don't have it jasmine or any long grain rice is fine too. You may choose to use the entire rice as measured in the recipe or however much you need.
Also, I like that the recipe uses different kinds of citrus fruits (though it's popularly made only with lime). I like the combo of the juices of 1 lime and 1 orange. The sweet orange flavor balances the tartness of the lime. But you may add 1 lemon too in the mix. Just note that it will be sharper so perhaps you need to use less juice when you mix it with the rice.
1 cup of uncooked jasmine/basmati rice (use measuring cup not the rice cooker cup)1 1/2 cups water, more if needed (use the same measuring cup)
2 small bay leaves
Juice of 1 orange and 1 lime or a combo of 1 orange/1 lemon/1 lime (the latter combo is sharper) - use about 4 Tbsp or to taste (the left over juice I give to my tots who love it!)
1 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp (neutral flavored oil like canola oil but I did try light olive oil and it was fine)
Salt, to taste
This is what the rice should look like when it's done and after removing the bay leaves.
While the rice is resting, juice the orange and lime and lemon (if using). Set aside. Prepare the cilantro leaves. We love cilantro so we put in a lot. Add as much as you want.
When done preparing the citrus fruits and cilantro, get the oil and pour it slowly on the rice. Coat the rice with oil.
Add the cilantro, juice and the salt and mix well with the rice. Enjoy!
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