Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sides: Szechuan Chicken and Red Rice Salad with Sesame Dressing

This is another recipe out of Robin Asbell's The New Whole Grains Cookbook. I was a little surprised at how popular this dish was at our house. It is a cold salad, but we may try it warm. It also could be an entree rather than just a side.


1 3/4 to 2 cups water
1 cup red rice, washed and rinsed
3 tablespoons tahini
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon hot sesame oil
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed Szechuan peppercorns (optional)
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cooked and shredded
2 cups bean sprouts
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and sliced
4 scallions, slivered
1/4 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts


  1. In a 1-quart saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, bring the water to a boil, and add the washed rice. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cover tightly, and cook for 25 minutes, or until the water is all absorbed. Take the pan off the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Let the rice cool to room temperature.
  2. In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk the tahini, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oils, sugar, ginger, garlic, salt, and crushed Szechuan peppercorns (if using). Put the shredded chicken in a small bowl and measure 2 tablespoons of the sesame mixture over it. Toss to mix. Stir the remaining sesame mixture into the chilled rice.
  3. On a platter, spread the rice, then top with the chicken, sprouts, and cucumber slices. Scatter the scallions and peanuts over it all and serve.

Other Details:

  • Serves 4 (Although, at our house, it was probably closer to 8 servings) 
  • Use the smaller measure of water for Himalayan red rice, and the larger for Wehani or other longer, larger-grain red rice.
  • You can skip the chicken or use a vegan chicken strips.

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