Chopped cilantro and basil add lots of color and wonderful fresh flavors to this brown rice and green pea side dish.


1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

3/4 cup brown rice

2/3 cup chopped cilantro

2/3 cup chopped fresh basil

1 3/4 cups water

3/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup frozen peas, thawed


1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook until tender, about 2 minutes.

2.. Add the brown rice, 1/3 cup of the cilantro, and 1/3 cup of the basil, stirring to coat. Add the water and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the rice is tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

3.. Stir in the peas and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/3 cup cilantro and ⅓ cup basil. Makes 4 servings

Cilantro Rice with Ham & Corn Omit the basil and increase the cilantro to 1 cup. In step 2, add 1/2 cup of the cilantro. In step 3, substitute frozen corn for the peas and add 1/2 cup diced reduced-sodium ham. Just before serving, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup cilantro.

Nutrition Facts

per serving
calories 187
total fat 4.6g
saturated fat 0.7g
cholesterol 0mg
dietary fiber 3g
carbohydrate 32g
protein 5g
sodium 471mg

good source of: magnesium, niacin, selenium, thiamin, vitamin B6

Kitchen Tip

When using leafy fresh herbs—such as basil, cilantro, and mint—in a cooked dish, add them at the last minute so the freshness of their flavors is retained.

If you are concerned about sodium levels, be sure to read this before preparing this recipe: Sodium Intake and Salt in Recipes

From The Johns Hopkins Cookbook Library: Recipes for Weight Loss, edited by Lawrence J. Cheskin, M.D. and Lora Brown Wilder, Sc.D., M.S., R.D.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 26 Oct 2011

Last Modified: 25 Mar 2015