How to Make Cilantro Lime Rice in A Rice Cooker? [8 Steps]

Cilantro Lime Rice cooked in rice cooker

Cilantro lime rice is a healthy and flavorful side dish.

Though it’s commonly paired with Mexican main course dishes, it works well with dishes from other cuisines like Asian and Indian too.

This recipe is traditionally made on a stove. But you can also prepare it in a rice cooker.

Steps to Make Cilantro Lime Rice in A Rice Cooker

The process of making cilantro lime rice in a rice cooker is slightly different from when you cook plain white rice.

Here are the steps for cooking cilantro lime rice in a rice cooker.

1. Gather the Ingredients

There are various versions of cilantro lime rice. But the main ingredients are the same. They are rice, limes, cilantro, oil, and salt.

Garlic or garlic powder and chili flakes are optional. Adding them makes the rice more flavorful.

Cilantro rice is typically made with jasmine rice, but other rice varieties work as well.

You can replace jasmine rice with long-grain white rice or basmati rice. If you use basmati rice, soak the rice before cooking.

You can skip soaking jasmine rice. Both varieties can be cooked in a rice cooker.

2. Measure the Rice

One cup of uncooked jasmine rice or basmati rice typically yields 3 cups of cooked rice.

The rice-to-water ratio may vary slightly according to the type of rice. So consider this factor when measuring the ingredients.

Another factor to consider is that you shouldn’t fill the rice cooker with water beyond the 2/3rd mark. It can spill and make a mess. The quality of the cooked rice will also differ accordingly.

If you want to make a large amount of cilantro lime rice, prepare the rice in batches for consistent results.

3. Wash the Rice and Soak It if Needed

Before cooking the rice, it’s important to wash it. This applies regardless of the type of rice you choose for the recipe.

The easiest way to wash the rice is to use a colander or mesh vessel. Hold it under a running tap and squish and release the grains several times.

This will dislodge any dust on them. Repeat several times till the water runs clear.

The same process can be performed in a bowl. But you would have to drain the water between washes to get rid of the starch and dirt.

After washing the rice, you can soak it if required. Soaking is essential for basmati and other long-grain varieties.

You can skip it in the case of jasmine rice or similar small-grain varieties.

4. Add the Rice and Water to The Cooking Pot

Once you soak and wash the rice, you can proceed to cooking. Add the rice to the cooking pot and pour adequate water.

Choose a suitable rice cooker setting to start the cooking process.

Plug in the rice cooker and engage the cooking function.

The rice cooker will start heating up, and the rice will cook in boiling water.

5. Wait for The Rice Cooker to Stop Cooking

The best thing about making cilantro lime rice in a rice cooker is that you don’t have to supervise it till the last stage.

The rice cooker will cook the rice perfectly without any supervision.

When the rice is done, it will either switch off automatically or switch to the “Keep Warm” mode.

At this stage, we usually recommend waiting for a few minutes before opening the lid of the rice cooker.

A few extra minutes will allow the rice to absorb the leftover moisture, if any. But it’s different in this case.

You shouldn’t wait to open the rice cooker; we will tell you why.

6. Add the Lime Zest and Lemon Juice

As soon as the rice cooker switches off or is in “Keep Warm” mode, open the lid.

Fluff the rice with a fork or spatula to separate the grains. Then, add the lemon juice and lime zest. Stir it in.

Place the lid back on and let the rice rest for a few minutes. It will absorb the flavors of the lime at this stage.

7. Mix the Rest of The Ingredients

After the rice has absorbed the lime zest and rested for a few minutes, transfer it to a serving bowl.

Now, mix the olive oil, garlic powder or chopped garlic, chopped cilantro, salt, and chili flakes in another bowl. Combine them well.

Then, add this mixture to the rice and toss it till well combined. Your cilantro lime rice is ready to enjoy.

8. Serve Hot or Refrigerate After Cooling

Cilantro lime rice tastes best when you serve it fresh and hot. However, you can make a big batch at once and store the excess.

In this case, let the rice cool to room temperature. Then, transfer it to an airtight container or bag, and pop it in the fridge.

Consume the refrigerated rice within the week. You can reheat it just before serving, and it will taste good.

Tips to Make the Perfect Cilantro Lime Rice in A Rice Cooker

Tasty Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro lime rice turns out well almost every time in a rice cooker.

Nevertheless, here are a few tips to improve the quality of the results.

1. Use the Correct Rice-To-Water Ratio

The rice can turn out to be too mushy or dry if you get the rice-to-water ratio wrong.

For most varieties of rice, like jasmine rice, a 1:1 ratio of rice to water works well. For long-grain basmati rice, the ratio is different.

It will need more water per cup of rice. Check the package instructions for an accurate idea and follow them.

2. Use only Leaves and Tender Cilantro Stems

The flavor of rice will be affected by the quality of the cilantro you use.

We recommend using lightly packed tender cilantro leaves and stems for the best results.

They deliver a light but noticeable flavor without overpowering the dish. Also, one cup of lightly packed cilantro is enough for a cup of rice.

3. Add Lime Zest to The Cooking Water for More Flavor

The traditional way to prepare cilantro lime rice is by adding lime zest at the end of the cooking process. This yields a mild but exciting flavor.

However, if you want a stronger flavor, add some lime zest and lime juice to the cooking water. The rice will absorb it and achieve a stronger flavor.

4. Switch White Rice with Brown Rice for Added Nutrition

To add more fiber to the recipe, you can simply switch out jasmine or basmati rice with brown rice.

The flavor will end up being slightly different.

But it’s a healthier option for those who are counting calories.

5. Add Seasonings According to Your Preference

Apart from garlic and chili, you can experiment with various other seasonings for an interesting twist to this recipe.

You can add bay leaves, cinnamon, or star anise. You can also replace the water with vegetable broth for more flavor.

Using broth would, however, change the color of the rice and make it brown.

6. Fluff the Rice Before Adding the Lime Zest and Lemon Juice

The rice grains will usually stick together after cooking. Don’t directly add the lime zest to this clumpy rice.

Instead, use a fork or spatula to first break the rice apart.

The grains will separate and turn fluffy. Add the lime zest and lemon juice to the rice only after this stage.

7. Let the Rice Cool Slightly Before Adding the Cilantro

Cilantro leaves wilt and becomes a dull green when exposed to heat. This can make the dish look unappetizing.

To retain their fresh green color, wait till the rice cools slightly. Then, add the cilantro leaves.

This will help the leaves retain their bright green color and make the dish more attractive.

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