A simple recipe, this Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice is a delicious copycat for the deservedly popular Chipotle restaurant side dish
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Light with a citrus zing and a slightly floral herbiness, this rice dish is the perfect home made knock-off of Chipotle’s delicious and popular side dish.
Basmati rice has a delicate texture and flavor, and this simple recipe allows the subtle flavors of the rice to take center stage. I love it with Baked Cod, and it works great with virtually any Tex-Mex main.
Is Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice Healthy?
Rice is a staple in much of the world, and forms the basis of meals in most of the world’s most populous regions, like India and China. There are many varieties of rice, but the basmati I use here is arguably the finest, most delicately flavored rice in the world.
Basmati rice is high in carbohydrates, and is known to be among the most easily digested foods. It contains many trace elements and minerals, is gluten free and, prepared simply like this, is virtually free of fats.
Brown or White?
Basmati rice, as with other rice varieties, is available as white rice (peeled grain) or brown rice (whole grain). There is much discussion and considerable disagreement about the benefits of brown rice over white rice. Many nutritionists point out that unpeeled whole grains contain more fiber and nutrients than white rice. Most rice-eating cultures favor white rice, though, which is easier to digest and is by default cleaner because of the peeling process. But the decision for white vs. brown is ultimately up to you.
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp of sea salt
- sprig of fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
In a large pot bring 2 cups of water to a boil, then add the rice, bay leaf, and olive oil and season with a pinch of salt.
Boil the rice uncovered for 10 to 12 minutes until cooked.
Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl and stir in chopped cilantro, lime juice, and lemon juice.
Season the cilantro lime rice with a pinch of salt and serve hot.
Tips and Tricks to Make a Perfect Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice
- Rinse the raw rice under cold running water to wash off the surface starches and yield a lighter, fluffier result.
- Rinse the cooked rice under hot running water once it’s boiled and before you add the last ingredients. It’ll stop the grains from sticking together.
- Be gentle as you add the final ingredients to your cooked rice. The long fragile grains need a light touch as you toss your rice.
Absolutely. Reduce the water to 1 1/2 cups and proceed with the recipe as described.
The delicate flavor of basmati works beautifully for this simple preparation, but jasmine rice would also work well. Standard American long grain rice is the most forgiving if you’re a bit nervous.
It is a genetic anomaly that about 10% people find cilantro tastes soapy, so you’re not alone! Substitute parsley or dill for a different, but still beautiful, result. Again, it won’t be Chipotle’s rice, but it will be delicious.
Make Ahead and Storage
If you’re using a rice cooker this rice can be made a few hours in advance and held on the “keep warm” setting of your appliance. If you’re going old-school then hold the rice in the pot with a kitchen towel resting on the rice under the lid. It will stay warm for half an hour or more. It’s ok to reheat carefully in the microwave, but I don’t recommend reheating in the pot.
Cold leftover rice can be stored in the fridge for three days. Reheat in the microwave. Many people like to use day-old rice to make fried rice dishes, and so do I – however the delicate nature of basmati does not lend itself to the rigor of the wok!