Arroz Verde Mexicano
Mexican green rice, also known as cilantro rice is the perfect side dish and not just for when you are serving Mexican food. Its bright but not overpowering flavor goes well with fish or chicken.
We prepared this dish with Morelos rice which is the only rice in Mexico with a Designation of Origin. To receive the designation it must come from state of Morelos. (More about the Designation of Origen) It is considered to be the highest quality rice in Mexico. At the supermarket, Morelos rice costs about 60% more. If you can’t find Morelos rice, this dish will turn out well with your favorite white rice.
How to Prepare Mexican Green Rice (Cilantro Rice)
This recipe makes a large batch of rice, about 12 portions. We always like to make a big batch so that we have rice all week. You can cut the recipe in half if you don’t need so much.
Start by getting all of your ingredients together.
Prepare the Cilantro Mixture
Add the cilantro, garlic, onion and 1/2 cup of water to your blender. Use the freshest cilantro you can find. It makes a big difference in taste. Before blending, discard any sprigs that are pale in color or have black spots.
Blend the mixture for 1 minute until smooth.
Cooking the Rice
Pour the rice into a pan that has 2 tablespoons of medium hot preheated oil. This is an important step to build flavor and get the proper texture.
Stir the rice to coat with oil. Keep stirring for about 30 seconds until the rice just begins to turn golden and become fragrant. Don’t let the rice burn.
Pour the cilantro mixture into the rice.
Add 4 cups of water and the teaspoon of salt. Stir once and reduce the heat to low.
The rice will absorb the liquid as it cooks. It takes about 30 minutes to for the rice to fully cook. If the rice has absorbed all of the liquid and it hasn’t quite finished cooking add 1/4 of water at a time until the rice is cooked and all of the water has been absorbed. Getting perfect rice is an art. It may take you a few times to get it just how you want it.
When the rice is cooked to your liking turn off the heat and fluff it with a fork. Let it rest 5 minutes and then serve.
Ready to Serve
You will enjoy the results of this recipe.
- 2 cups short grain rice (preferably Morelos type)
- 1 bunch cilantro (reserve a few sprigs for garnish)
- ½ medium white onion
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 to 5 cups of water
- CILANTRO MIXTURE
- Add the cilantro, onion, garlic and ½ cup of water to your blender jar.
- Blend until smooth about 1 minute
- Preheat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pot over medium heat
- Pour the uncooked rice into the hot oil
- Stir to coat the rice with oil and cook for about 30 seconds until the rice is just starting to brown and become fragrant
- Add the pureed cilantro mixture to the rice
- Add 4 cups of water to the rice
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt
- Stir once to evenly disperse the cilantro mixture
- Reduce the heat to low (do not cover)
- Cook the rice for about 20 minutes. It will completely absorb the liquid
- If the rice isn't fully cooked after it has absorbed the liquid add ¼ cup of water as needed until the rice is fully cooked and the water has been absorbed
- Once the rice is done cooking. Turn off the heat. Fluff the rice with a fork and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving
- Garnish with a sprig of cilantro