This salad has a freshness that combines Asian flavors that you might not expect. Filled with crunchy cashews, green onions, cilantro, and mandarin oranges, you will appreciate the savory and sweet combination. It is low-fat, particularly if you use unsweetened coconut. Serve this salad as a main dish or as a side. My husband loves to grill salmon with this salad, while I prefer grilled tofu on the side.
Recipe for the Salad
2 cups basmati or jasmine rice
2 cups coconut milk
1 3/4 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unsweetened coconut, lightly toasted
1 cup cashews, toasted
1/2 cup green onions, chopped into the dark green section
1 cup mandarin oranges, drained (preserve the liquid)
1 cup cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons crystallized ginger, finely chopped
1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and diced
1 8-ounce can bamboo shoots, drained
Preserved liquid from the mandarin oranges
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 teapoon minced crystallized ginger
1 tablespoon lime zest
3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
Cook the rice in a large saucepan with the coconut milk, water, butter, and salt over medium heat. When it begins to boil, lower heat, stir, and cover with a tight fitting lid. Liquid should absorb in about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Place cooled rice in a serving bowl. Add the coconut, cashews, green onions, mandarin oranges, cilantro leaves, and ginger. Add the water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. Gently stir together. Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a separate bowl with a whisk. Toss with the rice salad and serve immediately.