Best Rice for Fish: Three Varieties For Mouthwatering Meals

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Pan seared halibut with text "best rice for fish".

Though already delicious on its own, fish is definitely one of those proteins that is best eaten with a side. 

And, out of all the side dishes you can choose from, many people would argue that rice is the best option for fish recipes! 

However, did you know that there are literally over 120,000 rice varieties in the world? 

Surely, not every single one of them will suit the flavors of fish.

So, let me save you the rice hunting trouble by sharing my 3 go-to rice varieties for fish dishes! 

Should I Cook Plain or Flavored Rice for Fish? 

Plain rice in a bowl.

Well, there’s really no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. 

Both plain and flavored rice can go well with cooked fish. 

And truth be told–I switch back and forth between these options to complete my perfect fish meal!

Because of this flexibility, I’ve decided to switch up this post a little bit.

Lately, I’ve only been sharing THE best rice to pair with a specific dish.

But right now, I’ll tell you the best choice depending on whether you prefer your rice plain, flavored, or healthy! 

Best Plainly Cooked Rice For Fish: Jasmine Rice

Out of all the rice varieties I’ve tried plain, Jasmine Rice stood out most when paired with proteins like fish! 

See, Jasmine rice has a delicate, sweet floral aroma and a subtle, buttery flavor.

So, even when cooked plain, it tastes anything but plain! 

Now, compared to varieties like Basmati and long-grain white rice, Jasmine Rice is indeed more sticky.

However, it actually leans more on being fluffy than sticky. So you still get a light and airy mouthfeel.

Best Flavor-Infused Rice For Fish: Basmati Rice

Cooked basmati rice.

Lately, when I cook fish for dinner, I’ve been leaning towards flavored rice over plain.

My top choices include lemon herb rice, garlic butter rice, and classic cilantro-lime rice.

Being the adventurous cook that I am, I like to switch up the rice variety I use for these dishes every now and then.

However, Basmati rice often ends up being my go-to.

Basmati rice boasts slender grains that turn fluffy when cooked, which is perfect for pairing with fish. 

Plus, it holds up well in longer cooking times, which may be required for certain flavored rice dishes! 

Healthiest Rice For Fish: Long-Grain Brown Rice 

Fish is generally considered one of the healthiest proteins you can have.

Why not optimize its nutritional value even further by pairing it with brown rice?

As you likely already know, brown rice varieties hold way more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than their white counterpart.

Sure, their texture may be slightly chewier.

But, I’ve never really found that quality to be a bad thing!

I actually love pairing several brown rice varieties with fish, including Jasmine brown rice, Basmati brown rice, and long-grain brown rice.

However, long-grain brown rice is gonna be my top-recommended option on this healthy rice list, as it’s the perfect flavor canvas and is the easiest of all brown rice varieties to find!

Reeling in the Best Rice for Fish

Now that you know all the best rice varieties perfect for fish, you’re all set to serve the ultimate fish meal you’ve dreamed of!

Fish is one of the most versatile proteins.

So, feel free to pair it with plain, flavored, or brown rice!

Trust me, when cooked properly, all these three options can yield wonderful results.

Yield: 4

Lemon Herb Butter Fish

Pan Seared Halibut.

This simple herb butterfish perfectly pairs with plain, flavored, and brown rice alike. Enjoy a delicious, mouthwatering meal that only takes 35 minutes to cook! 

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pound of fish fillets (such as halibut)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • 7 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 10 basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter (melted)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (adjust to taste)
  • 1 bell pepper of any color (sliced)
  • 1 shallot (peeled and sliced)
  • Fresh herbs of choice (like parsley)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  2. Pat the fish fillets until they’re dry. Then, season them with salt and pepper on both sides.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the the following: dried oregano, ground coriander, sweet paprika, minced garlic, and basil leaves.
  4. Place your fish in a baking dish. 
  5. Pour the melted butter and squeeze the lemon juice all over the fish.
  6. Lay out the sliced bell peppers and shallots around the fish.
  7. Pop the baking dish into the oven. Let it bake for about 15-20 minutes. (The fish should be nice and flaky when tested with a fork.) 
  8. Sprinkle some fresh herbs on top of the fish (optional).
  9. Serve a portion of steamed Jasmine rice on one side of the plate. Then, beside it, place a generous amount of the cooked lemon herb butter chicken fillet!

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