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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

This entry was posted in Rita's Kitchen, Salads and Dressings, Vegetarian. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

13 Comments

  1. Betsy Bateson
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    this rice salad looks delicious; I have all the ingredients so I think I will throw it together over the 4th. love all the herbs for a nutritious packed dish. Betsy

    • Posted July 3, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Betsy, please let me know if you liked the salad, or thought it needed something more or less. Also, you can add shredded carrots to the mix if you like, for added color and nutrition.

  2. Posted July 3, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Mint, basil and cilantro is my favorite herb combination, Rita. Each herb enhances the other into something unlike the individual flavors. The combination is also excellent with feta cheese for a middle eastern hint, and works well in couscous or quinoa salads with tomato.

  3. Posted July 3, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    This is perfect for dinner tonight. I have some farro already made that I’ll sub for the rice and make the rest. Great timing, Rita!!!!

    • Posted July 3, 2014 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Susan, let me know what you think. ok? When I take this to a potluck or… I usually wait to dress it until we’re ready to eat. Rice absorbs dressings (as does pasta in salads) and I like my salads on the “juicier” side.

      • Posted July 3, 2014 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the tip, Rita. I like mine juicier too. I’ll let you know!

      • Posted July 3, 2014 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        This was soooo good with farro! My farro had a little blue cheese mixed into it already from a prior dinner and I wasn’t sure how it would all work. But it was wonderful, Rita! Thanks!!

        • Posted July 4, 2014 at 10:00 am | Permalink

          Blue cheese sounds deelish – or crumbled feta. Was there enough dressing for you?

          • Posted July 6, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

            I split the dressing in half. I used half of it to dress the farro salad a little in advance, Just before serving. I added the rest. It worked great for me.

          • Posted July 6, 2014 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

            Perfect!

  4. John in SF
    Posted July 7, 2014 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Especially with all the ripe vegetables and outdoor grilling, nothing puts an exclamation point on summer like fresh herbs.
    And for an entree service of this, I might consider grilled salmon and avoid the cheese (dairy and gluten free, as I was reminded by my gluten sensitive niece).
    Thanks for this inspiration. Sorry to say that I loved it so much that I had to retweet it.
    John

    • Posted July 7, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      SO glad you like the salad, John! I’ve another salad or two with basil-mint-cilantro — yummy combo.

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