If you are planning a picnic with your family or friends and looking for the perfect dish, this delicious and refreshing salad makes the perfect dish to share.
Black rice, peanut, tofu and mango salad
Ingredients: 175g/6oz/heaped ¾ cup black rice, rinsed; 55g/2oz/heaped ¹⁄³ cup unsalted peanuts; coconut oil, or cold-pressed rapeseed/ canola oil, for frying; 400g/14oz block of tofu, drained well on paper towels and cubed; 1 small red onion, diced; 3 spring onions/scallions, thinly sliced diagonally; 1 large red chilli, deseeded and thinly
sliced; 85g/3oz/scant 1 cup mangetout/snow peas, thinly sliced diagonally; ½ cucumber, quartered, deseeded
and diced; 1 large handful of chopped coriander/ cilantro leaves; 1 handful of chopped mint leaves; 1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted and flesh cubed
The contrast of black rice, orange mango, green herbs and red chilli makes a visually stunning dish, but the variation in textures – crisp, crunchy and soft – as well as flavours – hot, sweet and sour – also add to the overall appeal of this Asian salad. If you can’t find black rice, you could use brown basmati, Camargue red rice or perhaps bulgur wheat instead – ideally you want a grain that holds its shaped when cooked.
- Put the rice in a saucepan and cover generously with cold water. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer for 25–30 minutes until tender. Drain and tip the rice into a large serving bowl.
- Meanwhile, toast the peanuts in a large dry frying pan for 5 minutes, tossing the pan occasionally until they start to colour and smell toasted. Tip onto a plate and leave to cool, then chop roughly.
- Heat enough oil to generously cover the base of a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the tofu in three batches for 5 minutes, turning once, until golden and crisp, adding more oil when needed. Drain on paper towels.
- Add the red onion, spring onions/scallions, half the chilli, the mangetout/snow peas, cucumber, half the herbs and three-quarters of the mango to the cooked rice. Pour the dressing over, then turn gently until everything is combined.
- Spoon the dressed black rice salad onto four serving plates and top with the crisp tofu, the remaining mango, herbs and finally the peanuts.
For an alternative to the tofu, mix together 2 tsp Thai seven-spice with 2 tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed/canola oil or melted coconut oil in a large shallow dish, then season with salt and pepper. Slice 400g/14oz skinless, boneless chicken breasts into strips and add to the dish. Turn the chicken in the marinade and leave to marinate for 30 minutes, if time allows.
Heat a large wok over a medium-high heat and tip in the chicken and its marinade. Stir-fry for 5–7 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and golden. Serve the chicken in place of the tofu.
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