Vegan Arroz Verde (Mexican Green Rice)

13th June 2016

Our Vegan Arroz Verde combines the herbal, earthy flavors of fresh cilantro and parsley with the bitter and mild poblano chile to make the perfect accompaniment to your favorite Mexican dishes. Cooking the rice with vegan butter, or olive oil, provides an added richness that makes this dish slightly more substantial. We enjoy serving our Vegan Arroz Verde as a main, side or even a taco filling. It’s also great leftover. In fact, it might even be better the next day.

Vegan Arroz Verde

Arroz Verde (Green Rice) is traditionally prepared in homes across Mexico, yet rarely found in restaurants. The recipe will vary from region to region and house to house. While we used cilantro, parsley and poblano; you can easily substitute the best available greens as people in Mexico do when they use epazote, romaine lettuce and spinach. If you decide to make adjustments, keep in mind that you will need to balance the bitterness of the poblano chile.

Vegan Arroz Verde with Patacones and Beans

We served our Vegan Arroz Verde with Patacones (twice fried plantains) and Quick Vegan Frijoles Molidos (recipe to follow). We love cooking Latin foods and consider this the perfect comfort food after being away traveling. This Vegan Arroz Verde is an exceptionally versatile and flavorful dish that we can’t get enough of.

Fresh Poblano Chiles

This mild green pepper from Mexico can be rather bitter. When purchasing, choose ones that do not have blemishes or look shriveled. Poblanos are occasionally, and incorrectly, labeled as pasilla peppers in some stores.

Ingredients for Vegan Arroz Verde

Cilantro, Parsley, Poblano and Garlic in Vitamix blender

Cilantro, Parsley, Poblano and Garlic for Vegan Arroz Verde

Vegan Arroz Verde

Vegan Arroz Verde

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp vegan butter or olive oil (we used 58g Earth Balance Olive Oil Buttery Spread)
  • 275g long-grain white rice (1½ cups)
  • 750ml vegan chicken or vegetable broth, divided (Better than Bouillon No Chicken)
  • 25g parsley, leaves and stems
  • 60g cilantro, leaves and stems
  • 1 medium fresh poblano chile, seeded and roughly chopped (150g)
  • ½ large white onion, thinly sliced* (150g, see Notes)
  • 2 large garlic cloves (about 14g), peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp kosher salt, or more to taste

Method

Soak the rice in warm water for 10 minutes and rinse the rice several times in cold water until the water runs clear. Add the rinsed rice to a fine mesh colander and drain well.

Put 250ml broth, parsley, cilantro, poblano and garlic in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Set aside.

Heat the vegan butter (or olive oil) in a large thick-bottomed pot on medium-high heat, until melted. When very hot, add the rice and stir to coat the rice with oil. Spread out in an even layer and gently stir to prevent from sticking. Let the rice cook until lightly golden, 7 to 8 minutes. Add and cook the onions until softened and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.

Once the rice is lightly browned, pour the green puree over the rice. Stir until evenly combined. Cook for 2 minutes then add the remaining 500ml broth and salt. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over very low heat for 15-20 minutes until liquid is absorbed.

Remove from the heat and let rest, still covered, for at least 15 minutes to allow the rice swell. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving and salt to taste. Serve with your favorite sides and condiments.

Notes

Advance preparation: The rice is fantastic leftover, it might even be better the next day. Keep in an airtight container, refrigerated.

Poblano chile: This mild green pepper from Mexico can be rather bitter. When purchasing, choose ones that do not have blemishes or look shriveled. Poblanos are occasionally, and incorrectly, labeled as pasilla peppers in some stores.

Onion: We used half of a 340g large white onion. Peeled and thinly sliced, we ended up with about 150g.

Vegan Arroz Verde with Patacones and Beans

Get the Patacones (Twice Fried Plantains) recipe here.

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