Asian Persuasion Summer Salads

 These are two of our favorite salads that we make year-round. Both recipes have an Asian flair, with rice vinegar, soy sauce, chiles and green onions . Raisins are the ringer ingredient in Rosie’s slaw, adding a sweet balance to the red pepper flakes and vinegar. Rita’s brown rice salad adds a ‘wow’ combination of cilantro, basil and mint that we highly recommend if you’ve never tried this trio. When you buy rice vinegar there are two types – ‘seasoned rice vinegar’ and ‘rice vinegar’.  Seasoned has a bit of sugar and salt, so note which vinegar is in which recipe. The rice salad uses seasoned rice vinegar; the slaw uses plain

Spicy Asian Slaw Makes 4 servings. Prep time: 10 minutes

3    tablespoons soy sauce
2    tablespoons rice vinegar
1    tablespoon dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1    pkg. (8-oz.) coleslaw mix (or 4 cups shredded cabbage and carrots)
1/2 cup Sun-Maid Natural Raisins
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/4 cup peanuts or chopped cashews (optional)

Combine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and pepper flakes in a large bowl. Add coleslaw mix, raisins and green onion. Toss well. Chill at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours before serving. Add peanuts or cashews, if desired.

Recipe by Karen Levin for Sun-Maid Growers. Photo by Kelly Burgoyne.

 Asian Rice Salad

Rita’s Thai Rice Salad with Three Herbs

1/2  cup seasoned rice vinegar*
2      tablespoons peanut oil
1      tablespoon soy sauce
1      tablespoon packed brown sugar, optional*
1/2  teaspoon hot chili oil, optional
4     cups cooked short grain brown rice**
1/2  cup shredded carrots
1      medium cucumber, seeded and sliced
2     green onions, sliced
1/3 cup each chopped cilantro, mint and basil
Zest of 1 lime

Whisk together seasoned rice vinegar, peanut oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, and if desired, chili oil. Add remaining ingredients to a large bowl. About 10 minutes before serving, pour dressing over and stir to combine.

*Seasoned rice vinegars vary. I used Marukan brand and omitted the brown sugar.
**Use 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups raw rice; different types have different yields. Cook as package directs, then chill well. (Make rice a day ahead if you want.) My favorite brand of short grain brown rice is Tsuru Mai, grown in California.
Per serving: 180 calories, 3g protein, 32g carb, 4g fat, (1g sat. fat), 0 mg chol, 380 mg sodium, 2.5g fiber      Thai Rice Salad recipe by Rita Held


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