Last night we decided to finally grill the chicken kabobs that we had marinating in our refrigerator. One of my most favorite meals during the summertime is shish kabobs of some sort; I make them almost weekly. I knew I wanted to serve rice with them, but wanted something different than just plain
boring white rice. Mike suggested, “What about a rice salad?” I had no idea what he meant, but it sounded pretty delicious, so over to the computer I went. In about 2 minutes, I found something that could work. Thanks, Internet 😉
Asian Rice Salad – adapted from About.com (written by Jolinda Hackett)
- 4 cups cooked rice
- 1/4 cup canola oil (or peanut oil if you have it on hand, which I did not)
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp sesame-chili oil
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley (I used dried)
- any other vegetables that work with Asian cuisine
- In a small bowl, combine oils, vinegar, salt & pepper, and sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the rice in a larger bowl. Toss gently to coat, then set aside.
- Steam the carrot & peas for one minute. Drain & stir into rice.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Let cool.
This recipe was originally written to be served cold. However, for the sake of time in our house (we were pretty hungry!), I served it warm. The vinaigrette that you mix in with the rice adds a really nice, subtle flavor to the rice, without overpowering whatever you are serving the salad with. You can even add a touch of soy sauce if you wish. The original recipe also calls for a few more vegetables. I omitted those simply because we were making shish kabob and grilling vegetables anyways.
When making this again, I would add sweet peppers, maybe some bok choy, or bean sprouts. The possibilities are endless! With more vegetables and some protein, this could also be a really easy, filling main dish. We do have a significant amount of leftovers, so this will most likely get made into fried rice for lunches.
The salad paired perfectly with our kabobs, and was thoroughly enjoyed as we dined in our backyard. I love summer 🙂