A combination of wild and jasmine rice forms the base for this salad. While the crisp, fresh ingredients and the Asian inspired salad dressing make it pop, the chicken makes this light salad a little more substantial for dinner time.
Being in the middle of a very hot summer, my approach to the preparation of food takes on a very different perspective. Rather than enjoying hanging out in the kitchen, it’s all about getting in and out again in the shortest time possible. This happens for a number of reasons: 1. It’s just too hot to spend very long preparing food; 2. turning the oven on generates even more heat; and 3. hot weather turns you off eating, which is why smoothies make a great lunch. The solution of course is an easy to prepare salad, and that’s exactly what this wild rice and chicken salad is all about.
Admittedly you have to cook the rice, which takes 45 minutes because wild rice takes a long time to cook. That’s alright because you can do that in the cooler part of the day and set it aside (in the fridge) for later. Then you either buy a roasted chicken from the supermarket or poach a couple of chicken breasts – minimal heat required. Poaching chicken breasts is a great option because you can add extra flavour in the poaching process (lemon, garlic, peppercorns – or whatever takes your fancy). The rest is all about chopping up some lovely fresh vegetables and throwing a few ingredients together to make a dressing.
I find cooking a real challenge during summer, especially January when temperatures tend to be extreme. This salad has saved a hungry family on numerous hot summer nights. Enjoy!
- ⅓ cup wild rice
- 200 grams jasmine rice
- 1 store bought roasted chicken, or 2 chicken breasts poached
- 1 carrot, coarsely grated
- ¼ red cabbage, finely shredded
- 1 Lebanese cucumber, halved, seeded and finely sliced
- 1 small red onion, finely sliced
- ¼ cup mint leaves, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped roasted peanuts
- ⅓ cup mirin
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon finely grated ginger
- sweet chilli sauce to serve
- Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet. Wild rice takes around 45 minutes - I add the jasmine rice to the pot 12 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Alternatively cook them separately. Drain and rinse in cold water and set aside to cool.
- Shred the chicken if using a store bought one, or put the chicken breasts on to poach.
- In a salad bowl, add the cooled rice, cucumber, red onion, carrot, red cabbage, mint leaves and chicken. Gently mix to combine.
- In a small bowl mix together the: mirin, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chopped chilli and lime juice. Mix well then pour over the salad. Mix well so that all the salad is coated.
- Top with the chopped, roasted peanuts and gently mix.
- Serve with sweet chilli sauce if desired.
- Fill a large saucepan with water and add: 1 tablespoon peppercorns, a couple of spring onions roughly chopped, salt, and a large piece of lemon zest. Bring to the boil over a high heat. Add the chicken breasts and stir. Turn off the heat, cover with a lid, and leave for 1 hour. Remove the chicken and slice.
- (Poached chicken is great for making chicken sandwiches!)