Thai Rice Salad with Three Herbs

Thai Rice SaladThe trio of mint, basil and cilantro give this refreshing salad its Thai orientation, making it a tasty change-of-pace for summer salads. It’s also a great salad to bring to pot-lucks, and matches deliciously with grilled meats, chicken, ribs, burgers, seafood — you name it.  The short grain brown rice is chewy and satisfying, and a splash of hot chili oil adds spark. Perfect for July 4th celebrating!

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Thai Rice Salad with Three Herbs
Serves 8    Prep time about 20 minutes if rice is prepared a day ahead.

4        cups cooked, chilled short-grain brown rice
1/2     cup Nakano seasoned rice vinegar
2        Tbsp. peanut oil or vegetable oil
1        Tbsp. soy sauce
1        Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2     tsp. hot chili oil (optional)
1        medium cucumber, seeded and sliced
2        green onions, sliced
1/3     cup chopped mint
1/3     cup chopped basil*
1/4     cup chopped cilantro
           Zest of 1 lime

Make rice a day or two ahead; cover and refrigerate.

In a 1-cup measuring cup, whisk together seasoned rice vinegar, peanut oil, soy sauce, brown sugar and hot chili oil.
Add remaining ingredients to a large bowl. Pour dressing over and toss to combine. 

* Kitchen Notes:
–  If using Thai basil, reduce amount to 1-2 tablespoons.
–  For a main-course salad, add 2 cups diced cooked chicken.

Nutrition per serving (without chicken): 180 calories (calories from fat 36), 3g protein, 32g carb, 4g fat, (1g sat. fat), 0mg chol, 380mg sodium, 2.5g fiber

Recipe by Rita Held for Nakano      Photo by Suzanne Carrerio

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