Slightly Asian Rice Salad


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    2 or 4

    as a main

Appears in

The Vegetarian Kitchen

The Vegetarian Kitchen

By Prue Leith and Peta Leith

Published 2019

  • About

This is a really light and zingy salad, packed full of fresh, vibrant flavours. Candying the cashew nuts does require a bit of extra work, but it’s very quick to do and they’re delicious. They make great nibbles to enjoy with a pre–dinner drink, too. If you don’t have time to make them, substitute a handful of roasted salted peanuts. (Image.)


  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • a pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 50 g cashew nuts, roasted
  • 100 g brown rice (dry weight)
  • 1 tsp peeled and finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp finely chopped red chilli
  • juice of ½ lime, plus wedges
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp mirin
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 25 g sugar snap peas, thinly sliced at an angle
  • 40 g carrot, cut into julienne
  • 25 g cucumber, cored and cut into julienne
  • 2 large pak choi leaves, sliced
  • 1 spring onion, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • a handful of coriander
  • salt


  1. Oil a plate which you will need later for the candied nuts.
  2. To make the candied cashews, put the sugar, a pinch of salt, the chilli flakes and vinegar in a small heavy–based saucepan and add enough water to wet the sugar. Heat the sugar gently until it dissolves and turns into a syrup, then swirl over the heat until it starts to colour. Now tip in the nuts and stir briskly as the sugar coats them. Stir over the heat until the pan seems dry and the sugar is toffee coloured, then tip the nuts onto the oiled plate or silicone sheet. As they cool you will be able to use your hands to separate them. Do this before the caramel sets into a solid block.
  3. Simmer the rice in a pan of plenty of salted boiling water for 20–25 minutes or until it is just al dente. Drain, and cool it immediately by running cold water over it in a sieve.
  4. In a jug, make the dressing by whisking together the ginger, chilli, lime juice, sesame oil, mirin, soy sauce and agave.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine the rice with the sugar snaps, carrot, cucumber, pak choi and spring onion. Finely chop the coriander (leaving a few leaves whole to garnish the salad with, if you like) and add to the bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix to combine.
  6. Garnish with a handful of the candied cashews and coriander. You should have more nuts than you need, but if you are anything like me you’ll probably have already eaten half of them! Serve with the lime wedges.