Rice Salad with Mushrooms and Herbs. Sounds pretty straight forward, right? Well this rice salad is a little different. It has what I can only say “an Asian touch”. There’s cilantro and mint, plus fresh chilis, and the dressing is made – not just with olive oil – but also lemon, roasted sesame oil and soy sauce. Might sound a little crazy but it tastes pretty darn good. And did I mention it’s vegetarian (actually vegan!)?
I’ve been thinking of making a rice salad for ages now and in that process I always lean back towards Asian inspired flavours with rice. Maybe because one of my absolute “rice salad” dressing is Asian. Which is why I have two variations of it on my blog. Both with kale. But this actually is a rice salad made with to be enjoyed at room temperature since it’s served with herbs and arugula. It’s made with a three-rice mix: natural long grain rice, red Camargue rice, and wild rice. I love wild rice mixes and there is so much you can do with it than add it to chicken soup or serve it as a side dish (both of which I will forever love!).
Wild Rice Salad Tips
You could make this salad in advance, but then you will want to add the arugula just before serving as it wilts quite fast. And if you want you could also add the fresh herbs later too. I usually am quite relaxed about adding them right away, as I think they add to the aroma of the dressing. And if you are fond of really planning in advance, the rice could be made a day ahead, but note, that once fully cooled in the fridge the starches in the rice change so this which will affect how it absorbs the dressing, so you will most likely need less dressing. Use the leftover dressing to improvise your own salads.
Change It Up
- This recipe is quite versatile. Here are a couple ways to change things up a little:
- For extra plant-based protein, amp up on the mushrooms or try adding a little smoked tofu (my fave…smoked tofu with almonds and sesame seeds)
- Sub in your favourite green for the arugula (try massaged chopped kale or savoy cabbage, tender Chinese cabbage or spinach).
Wild Rice Salad with Mushrooms and Herbs
An easy and delicious wild rice salad with mixed mushrooms, fresh herbs and chili, tossed with a lemon, roasted sesame oil and soy sauce dressing. Naturally vegetarian and vegan. Use tamari instead of soy sauce to make it gluten-free.
For the salad:
- 1 1/2 cups wild rice mix (300 g)
- 300 g mixed mushrooms, I like 150 g cremini, 75 g shiitake mushrooms, 75 g king oyster
- extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
- 1 small bunch of cilantro, chopped
- 4 tablespoons freshly chopped mint
- 1 bunch of green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 fresh red chilis, seeded and cut into thin strips
- 2-3 generous handfuls baby arugula leaves
For the dressing:
- 80 ml fresh lemon juice (ca 1 ½-2 lemons)
- 60 ml extra-virgin olive oil (4 tablespoons)
- 2 Tablespoons roasted sesame oil
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari)
To cook the rice: Using a medium pot, pour in enough cold water to cover the rice by at least 3 times its volume. Bring to a boil and simmer gently, uncovered, for 40 to 45 minutes, until the rice is tender but still retains a little firmness (al dente). If the water starts to runs low, top it up with extra boiling water. Drain using a sieve and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Let stand for a few minutes to further drain, then transfer to a large serving bowl.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, add the lemon juice, olive oil, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Set aside.
In heavy-bottomed skillet add enough oil to coat pan. Heat over medium high heat, once glimmering, add mushrooms, fry, stirring regularly, until lightly browned and softened. About 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the mushrooms to the bowl with the rice, add the cilantro, mint, green onions, and chili . Drizzle with dressing and toss well. Add the arugula, toss again and serve. Enjoy!
- For this salad I like a considerable amount of dressing, as the rice when slightly warm/room temperature will soak a little up and it lets me add as much greens as I like.
- I use 4 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint as I love the flavour. If you are concerned about it dominating too much for your taste then use 2-3 tablespoons.
- This is salad also makes nice leftovers. The arugula wilts fairly quickly, which is fine if you are eating it all within a day. But if leftovers (or a bring to work lunch) is your intention, be sure to store the salad and dressing separately. This way you can enjoy it for several days. Just toss as much dressing as you need, just before serving. With cold rice, you will likely need a little less dressing.
- Here is my second favourite variation for of dressing for this rice salad: Juice from 1 ½ lemons, 2 tablespoons roasted sesame oil, 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce, 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
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