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Recipe Spotlight

Why You Should Turn Your Rice Bright Green 

Turn plain white rice into a neon green flavor bomb with this easy herbaceous paste. 

Published Dec. 7, 2022.

I’ve eaten my fair share of rice over the years. White, brown, wild. Even the cauliflower kind.

My favorite rice of all? Green rice.

If the thought of green rice made you cringe, I get it. Just trust me. It is so delicious.

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This recipe was inspired by a restaurant I worked at many years ago. We found ourselves with a surplus of herbs that needed to be used.

My chef blitzed a bunch of parsley, cilantro, and olive oil in the food processor. The result was a thick green paste bursting with fresh herbaceous flavors. He then folded it into cooked white rice, and boom.

Like magic, the rice went from white to neon green.

I couldn’t keep this fond food memory to myself. So I turned it into a bowl.



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The paste starts with basil, cilantro, spinach, and a serrano chile. After stirring it into cooked rice I let it sit in the skillet until the fried rice begins to crisp. The flavor is out of this world: fresh, almost grassy, with a hint of spice.

And that vibrant green hue!

Bulking up the dish with green beans, frozen peas, and a fried egg turned it into a complete meal. Talk about pantry friendly. Plus its a great way to use up leftover rice.

And an even better way to use up leftover herbs.

Just like my chef did.

Green Fried Rice Bowl

Serves 2

Total Time: 40 minutes

You can substitute regular basil for the Thai basil. 

  • 2 garlic cloves (1 whole unpeeled, 1 minced)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup fresh Thai basil leaves
  • 5 ounces (5 cups) baby spinach, divided
  • 1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and chopped coarse
  • ½ teaspoon table salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 4 ounces green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cups cooked white rice 
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1 recipe Fried Eggs 
  • Lime wedges


1. Toast unpeeled garlic clove in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, shaking skillet occasionally, until softened and spotty brown, about 8 minutes. When garlic is cool enough to handle, discard skin and chop coarse. Process chopped garlic, cilantro, basil, 1 cup spinach, serrano, and ⅛ teaspoon salt in food processor until finely chopped, about 15 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as needed; set aside. 

2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in now-empty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add green beans and ⅛ teaspoon salt and cook until green beans are spotty brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add remaining 4 cups spinach and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add ginger and minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer vegetables to bowl, cover with aluminum foil to keep warm, and set aside until ready to serve.

3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in again-empty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add cooked rice, herb mixture, peas, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, stirring to combine, then firmly press into compact, even layer. Cover and cook, without stirring, until rice begins to crisp, about 2 minutes. Uncover, reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook until bottom of rice is golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide among individual serving bowls then top with green bean mixture and fried eggs. Serve with lime wedges.

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