Fish is an incredibly versatile main course that pairs well with an array of side dishes.
Among the various sides that pair perfectly with fish, rice is undeniably one of the most comforting and satisfying choices.
Here, we’ll explore an assortment of rice dishes that will complement and elevate your next fish dinner.
Let’s dig in.
Quick To Make
When it comes to a mid-week meal, there’s not always a lot of time to prepare something fancy – this is where quick rice sides come in:
This bright and zesty rice dish bursts with the flavors of fresh herbs like parsley as well as a tangy lemon kick – we also like to add dill into the mix.
Lemon herb rice pairs exceptionally well with grilled or baked fish, offering a burst of citrusy freshness that elevates the whole meal.
Imagine combining the flavors of butter, garlic, and a hint of parsley in a pot of well-cooked rice.
This side, which is oh-so-simple but ridiculously delicious – is especially popular with rich, oily fish like salmon or mackerel, as the garlic cuts through the oiliness, offering a balanced mouthful.
Top tip – finish with grated parmesan.
Drawing inspiration from Mexican cuisine, cilantro lime rice is both aromatic and colorful.
The rice gets a makeover with lime juice and fresh cilantro, making it an exciting side dish that pairs especially well with fried or grilled fish varieties like mahi-mahi or tuna.
For a bit of a kick, try this bright yellow rice. It is a quick fix with minimal cooking time.
The earthy flavor of turmeric pairs well with a variety of fish.
5. Poblano Rice
Using a handful of ingredients, Poblano Rice brings together sweetness and heat, offering a zesty but quick side dish option for your fish meal.
You’ll need butter, onion powder, garlic powder, chicken broth, jasmine rice, and, of course, poblano peppers to create this dish. And it’ll be ready in under 15 minutes.
We adore these sides for their simplicity – and you don’t need a full pantry to create them.
Nothing speaks volumes like a serving of fluffy, steamed white rice to accompany your fish.
White rice offers a delicate texture that doesn’t overshadow the fish’s flavor.
A squeeze of lemon or a sprinkle of herbs on the rice can complement the fish’s own seasoning.
Sticky Rice with Mango relies on the natural sweetness of ripe mango and the stickiness of glutinous rice, making it a simple yet delicious side dish.
The great thing about this side is it looks a lot more complicated than it is – perfect for wowing your guests.
This is a simple dish made from pantry staples.
The lentils and rice cook together, making it a one-pot wonder with minimal ingredients.
This particular recipe calls for onions, carrots, celery, garlic, broth, tomatoes, and parsley, but you can add or remove ingredients depending on what you have available and, of course, to suit your taste.
When it comes to fish and rice, certain combinations are a match in heaven – try the below to see what we mean:
This Italian classic pairs wonderfully with fish, especially when you want to elevate the entire meal.
Made with Arborio rice, mushroom risotto is a rich, creamy dish that offers the earthiness of mushrooms combined with a velvety texture.
This Indian-inspired rice pilaf can add an exotic touch to your dinner table.
This version features slivered almonds and raisins, offering a unique combination of sweetness and crunch.
It is best served with mildly spiced fish to let the pilaf’s flavors shine.
11. Spanish Rice
Flavored with Picante sauce and chicken broth, Spanish rice offers a robust flavor profile.
Its hearty nature pairs well with strongly seasoned fish like blackened or Cajun-seasoned varieties.
If nothing on the list has taken your fancy, how about a fried rice side?
This dish combines the divine flavors of sweet pineapple, shrimp, raisins, roasted cashews, onions and tomato, and curry powder.
The tropical sweetness of pineapple contrasts well with the flavors of grilled or fried fish, offering a delightful culinary journey.
With its spicy, tangy notes, kimchi fried rice pairs excellently with simple, grilled fish dishes.
The fermentation of the kimchi also adds a layer of umami that complements the fish beautifully.
14. Basil Fried Rice
Inspired by Thai cuisine, this rice dish is seasoned with holy basil, soy sauce, and a touch of oyster sauce.
You can add any vegetables you like to this dish, which works particularly well with grilled or fried fish, adding an aromatic note to your meal.
15. Curry Fried Rice
Infused with mild curry spices and made with celery, carrot, and onion, this rice dish pairs wonderfully with baked or grilled fish.
The curry spices add warmth without overpowering the fish.
Including another protein like shrimp into the fried rice makes the meal more substantial.
The seafood flavors of the shrimp naturally harmonize with that of the fish, creating a delightful sea-to-table experience.
Bold Flavors For the Adventurous Palate
If you’re looking for bold flavors to accompany your fish, try one of the below recipes:
17. Black Rice Salad
Black rice offers an exotic, nutty flavor and a dark color that will intrigue your guests.
Add some veggies for color and crunch, and finish with a lemon vinaigrette, and you have a side dish that stands out.
Sweet and tropical, this rice dish uses coconut milk and fresh pineapple to deliver an unexpected but delicious flavor.
Incorporate saffron, various vegetables, and perhaps even seafood to make this rice dish that’s vibrant in both taste and appearance.
The richness of saffron meets the freshness of mint in this dish, creating a palate of contrasting yet harmonious flavors.
We love the addition of pine nuts and currants to elevate this dish.
To bring a taste of the exotic to your plate to accompany your fish, give one of these a try:
21. Coconut Rice
For those who enjoy a tropical flair, coconut rice is an irresistible side.
Creamy coconut milk is cooked with rice, infusing it with a subtly sweet, nutty flavor.
This side is ideal with fish seasoned with Caribbean or Asian spices.
22. Sushi Rice
If you’re serving raw or lightly seared fish, consider sushi rice as your side.
Seasoned with rice vinegar and a touch of sugar, it offers a unique stickiness and slight tang that complements raw fish exceptionally well.
For super healthy rice sides to accompany your fish, try the below:
The nutty, chewy texture of wild rice is punctuated by the tartness of dried cranberries in this dish.
It’s an excellent choice for fall or winter meals, adding a festive note when served alongside fish.
This Mexican rice dish, packed with garlic, onion, tomatoes, jalapenos, and cilantro, is both delicious and healthy.
Incorporating pine nuts and spinach, along with a dash of red pepper flakes, adds not just flavor but also nutritional value to this rice dish, making it a win-win choice.
Whether you’re planning a casual weeknight dinner or an elaborate weekend feast, these tasty rice side dishes offer a gamut of flavors and textures to enhance your fish main course.
From the simple elegance of white rice or cilantro lime rice to a hearty helping of shrimp fried rice or a healthy dish of wild rice with cranberries, the options are endless.
And, with 25 dishes to dig into, there are plenty of recipes to keep you going and keep your menu fresh.
So, the next time you serve fish, remember this guide to ensure your side dish is as impressive as the main event.
Frequently Asked Questions
Long-grain rice like Basmati or Jasmine tends to pair well with fish due to its fluffiness and less sticky texture.
Absolutely, using flavored broth like chicken, vegetable, or even fish stock can add an extra layer of flavor to your rice.
Switching to brown rice or a brown rice and quinoa blend provides more fiber and nutrients compared to white rice.
A variety of rice dishes can complement baked fish, but if you’re looking for a classic choice, lemon herb rice or garlic butter rice would be a great fit. These sides offer flavors that are not too overpowering, allowing the natural taste of the baked fish to shine through.
25 Delicious Rice Side Dishes For FishCourse: Other Recipes
- Choose a recipe from above
- Gather your ingredients
- Prepare your rice side dish
- Enjoy with your fish.