Mexican Green Cilantro Rice

Fluffy green-tinted rice cooked in a jalapeno and cilantro-based broth?  Count me in.  I found the inspiration for this one in Lourdes Castro’s book, Simply Mexican.  I’d never heard of her (or the book) prior to this culinary jaunt around Mexico, but the book had good reviews on Amazon and so I went for it.

I’m glad I did.  As much as I love the standard tomato-based Mexican rice, it can get a little repetitive.  So I took Castro’s flavors but added some heat with some jalapenos.  I also browned the rice first- this splits the individual grains and gives the dish a light and fluffy texture.  Brown rice is standard around here, but I do keep white rice on hand just for Mexican rice (the brown rice doesn’t get that same fluffy texture that white will); yep, I’m pretty hardcore when it comes to Mexican food.  And as I mentioned before, this was killer with the Creamy Shrimp with Cilantro Stems.


Mexican Green Cilantro Rice

Yield: 6 servings


* 1 cup cilantro leaves and stems, plus extra leaves for garnish
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 jalapenos
* 1-3/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth plus 2 Tablespoons, divided
* 2 Tablespoons olive oil
* 1-1/2 cups long grain white rice
* 2 cloves garlic
* 1 teaspoon salt


Combine the cilantro, half of the chopped onion, jalapenos, and 2 Tablespoons of the broth in a blender and puree until smooth.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the rice and stir to coat. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the rice begins to brown. Add the rest of the chopped onion and the garlic and continue cooking until the onion is translucent.

Add the cilantro puree and stir to evenly coat the rice. Add the broth and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all the broth has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit for five minutes. Fluff with a fork and top with cilantro leaves for garnish, if desired.

Adapted from Simply Mexican

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9 Responses to “Mexican Green Cilantro Rice”

  1. #
    3LittleMonkeys — August 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Can you do this with brown rice? This looks fantastic! I am going to make this tonight with brown rice. I don't have shrimp, but I do have chicken defrosting.


  2. #
    Heather Jacobsen — August 1, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    I love cilantro rice. Its a staple here in Houston, although admittedly, I've never made it myself! Probably because every time I go out to eat, I get it! But your recipe looks so simple and tasty, and I love the addition of the shrimp. I might just have to make this at home sometime soon.


  3. #
    CATE — August 1, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    You can make it with regular medium brown rice, but it will be much heavier- the bran layer is too thick and so the rice won't split and create that light and fluffy texture. You might also have to up the amount of broth.

    One exception I know of- I have used brown jasmine before to create these split rice dishes (Fragrant Sri Lankan rice- and it worked fine. Maybe because the bran layer is more delicate?

    Hope you like it!


  4. #
    Bed and Breakfast Brugge — August 3, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Awesome posting for rice recipes . that's good look and healthy food.


  5. #
    Jess @ littlegirlbigappetite — August 4, 2011 at 12:16 am

    this looks awesome! Thank you thank you! My BF and I love eating healthy but we've been getting a bit sick of plain ol brown rice and Haven't found any interesting rice recipes that were healthy! Will make and link back to you!


  6. #
    Evelyn — August 4, 2011 at 1:11 am

    I never had or heard of Cilantro Rice but I like Cilantro alot and knew I would like this.
    I made this tonite with the Creamy Shrimp with Cilantro Stems. It was fast and not difficult to make, a perfect dish to make on a week night.
    It was really, really good. Just enough heat with the jalapenos (I used canned, pickled) and the rice stayed pleasantly separate and loose (not sticky).
    I thought I might have a textural problem with the stems in the sauce for the shrimp but I didn't at all. They got soft and blended into the creamy sauce just like the onions did. I did get the subtle crunch throughout, but I agree with you that it is a pleasant crunch.
    I was so proud of this and am trying to think how I can make the rice and Creamy Cilantro Stems sauce for my vegetarian, Indian, neighbor and think I might try it with veggie broth, and replace the shrimp with diced paneer.
    Thank you for the recipe.


  7. #
    CATE — August 4, 2011 at 4:16 am

    Evelyn- I'm so glad! I was a huge fan of the rice and shrimp together also :) Hope the paneer variation works out for you!


  8. #
    Julie Johnson — May 2, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Are you using cooked or uncooked rice?


    • CATE — May 3rd, 2012 @ 4:05 am

      Hi Julie- use uncooked rice. You want to toast it first with the onion and then add the broth.


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