Scented, Crunchy Black Rice Salad


Scented, Crunchy Black Rice SaladBlack rice is also known as “Forbidden Rice” in China because it is said to be only for emperors. It is said to be a super food that we are fortunate to have access to. Zhimin Xu, PhD, of Louisiana State University Agricultural Centre is quoted to have said “Just a spoonful of black rice bran contains more health promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than are found in a spoonful of blueberries, but with less sugar and more fibre and vitamin E antioxidants…”

There are many varieties of black rise from China, Korea and I think Thailand too.

Someone asked me today what they should do with some black rice they purchased to make a salad. Having not done a black rice salad before I just made suggestions on flavours and ingredients I thought would compliment such a staple. Then I decided to see how it would turn out so I made one.

The result was an aromatic, garden scented, dish with the black rice the platform for a range of fragrant Asian favourites. The nuts, noodles and coriander roots give it a gorgeous crunch. If you want an extra kick, simply leave in the chilli seeds and/or add more chilli.



For the salad:

½ cup of black rice (I had the glutinous one)

½ small brown onion, peeled and finely diced

10 mushrooms, sliced (I used button as that’s what I had, but some Asian mushrooms would be perfect in this)

3 tablespoons of well washed and finely sliced coriander roots

1 handful of washed and roughly chopped coriander leaves

1 handful of fresh basil leaves, washed and gently sliced (as they bruise)

1 handful fresh spinach, well washed to avoid grit


For the dressing:

1 tablespoon of soy sauce (or tamari for a gluten free option)

dash of sesame oil

½ tablespoon of fresh lime juice

¼  teaspoon of minced ginger

1 teaspoon of agave (if you don’t have agave use sugar but add ½ teaspoon and taste again  before adding more)

oil for cooking

1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced


For the garnish

1 small red chilli, cut in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and finely slice.

2 handfuls of roasted peanuts (Mine were raw so I dry roasted them in a hot pan for a minute or 2)

#optional~ a handful of “Chang’s” fried noodles



Rinse the rice under cold water. Put it in a pot of water, bring it to the boil and simmer until the rice is tender. Mine took about 30 – 40 minutes. I just pottered around and made the dressings etc while the rice cooked. I rinsed mine when it was cooked too in case there were any starches because I used the gelatinous one. Drain and set aside.

Heat a good splodge of oil in a small pan and cook the onion until it caramelizes. Add the mushrooms and cook till they are softened and coloured. Pull the mushroom and onions out of the pan with some tongs and place them on some draining paper. Set aside

Make the dressing. Place all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk.

Add the cooked rice and all the salad ingredient to the dressing and mix everything together.

Give the rice a good stir when you go to serve it. Sprinkle with the finely sliced chilli. Finally top it with the noodles and nuts, just as you are about to serve, so that they remain super crunchy.

Serve warm or cold.


Servings: 2 lunch size serves or serve as a side with other dishes.

Time: 15 minutes preparation. 30-40 minutes of cooking time.

Notes: Don’t be put off by a longer list of ingredients. It’s often the recipes with a lot of ingredients that are the easiest and require the least amount of skill. The result is worth it too!

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