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Black Rice Salad with Sugar Snap Peas and Avocado

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Serves 4 as a main or 6 as a side

Yields 6 cups

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 122

This rice salad has it all in looks, flavor, and texture: creamy avocado, crunchy sugar snap peas, a vibrant lime dressing, and gorgeous chewy yet tender grains of glossy black rice. It’s a perfect side dish for a potluck or buffet because you can make it ahead and serve it at room temperature.

  • 10-1/2 oz. (1-1/2 cups) Chinese black rice
  • 3 Tbs. peanut or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 1 fresh cayenne or serrano chile with seeds, minced (optional)
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbs. seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. Thai fish sauce (preferably Squid brand)
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 oz. sugar snap peas, trimmed and sliced 1/2 inch thick on the diagonal (1cup)
  • 2 small firm-ripe avocados, halved, pitted, and peeled; 1 cut into 1/2-inch dice, and 1 thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 to 2 limes, cut into wedges

Put the rice in a bowl and fill with cold water. Swish the rice with your fingers to release excess starch, then pour off the water. Repeat 2 or 3 more times until the water is less cloudy. Drain the rice and transfer to a heavy-duty 3-quart saucepan. Add 2-3/4 cups water, set over high heat, and bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat to low, and cook until the rice is tender but intact, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, uncovered, until cooled to room temperature. (The rice can be made up to 2 hours ahead.)

Meanwhile, heat the oil in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the chile, if using, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Combine the lime juice, rice vinegar, fish sauce, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a large bowl.

Wet a large wooden spoon with water and use it to turn the rice gently to loosen it. Transfer to the bowl with the dressing, add the shallot mixture, and gently toss to combine. Let the salad sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour to let the flavors blend. Stir in the sugar snap peas, diced avocado, and half of the mint; season to taste with salt. Transfer to a shallow serving dish and garnish with the sliced avocado and the remaining mint. Serve at room temperature with the lime wedges on the side.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 360; Fat (g): fat g 18; Fat Calories (kcal): 160; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 3; Protein (g): protein g 7; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 47; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 290; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 0; Fiber (g): fiber g 9;

Photo: Scott Phillips

The flavors in this recipe are wonderful The texture of the black rice is a great change from white rice. Very easy and quick to put together. With the avocado, great visual.

Excellent, easy to make, wonderful flavors that went together very well. Used left-over green beans instead of the sugar snap peas and jarred jalapenos for the fresh chiles. Bought the black rice at Whole Foods in the bulk bin area.

I thought this was delicious and it looked beautiful on the plate. I made it as written, except I halved the recipe. Served it with a simple grilled salmon. There were no leftovers even though the recipe said it would serve three and there were only two of us...

Glad to learn how to cook black rice. Saw the recipe and went back to Costco for the rice. The salad is delicious. Made as per recipe except only used one cup of rice to two cups of water, in the rice cooker and plain rice vinegar with a pinch of sugar as that's what I had. Easy recipe, not at all time sensitive. Leftovers, what little there were, held up very well the next day. Will definitely make again.

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