This salad is a so full of flavor! And it’s good for your gut! The black forbidden rice is beautiful and the grains don’t stick to each other! The green veggies, including that all-important asparagus, are blanched for about three minutes in boiling water and chilled quickly in ice water. This keeps them green and slightly crunchy! And the vinaigrette has two important ingredients for us to use as often as we can: vinegar and gochujang (fermented chili paste). The latter should be available for you in about any grocery store now, since Asian flavors are a booming trend! Just look in the international section.
For the salad for two people, you will need:
- 1/2 cup black rice (often called forbidden rice since it was reserved for the Chinese emperor to preserve his health)
- chicken broth instead of the water listed in the package directions
- 1/2 cup snap peas (be sure to pull the string at the end of each pod to remove the string, which makes it rather difficult to eat!)
- 1/2 lb. asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 red radishes, thinly sliced (or try some sliced daikon radish!)
- 1/2 carrot, julienned or sliced thinly
- 2 small scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbl. toasted sesame seeds (c’mon, toast them! The flavor is remarkably different!)
For the gochujang dressing, you will need:
- 1 large clove garlic, minced and smashed with kosher salt (rub the side of your chef’s knife over the salt and garlic until it is pasty)
- 2 Tbl. rice vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. or more of Gochujang paste. try a small amount first, then increase if you wish. It is very powerful.
- 1Tbl. Asian sesame oil (regular oil here will disappoint you!)
- 1Tbl. soy sauce
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger Taste the dressing here and adjust to your liking.
Pre-cook the rice according to package directions and cool.
Make the dressing by whisking all prepared ingredients together in a bowl.
Blanche the snap peas and asparagus. Cool in ice water. Drain
Slice remaining veggies.
Place all listed ingredients in a bowl and toss with the dressing. Serve in white bowls or plates, if you can–the contrast in colors is stunning! Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and serve!
This salad is great as an entrée, also, with everything kept room temp or warm and topped with slices of heated rotisserie chicken!
‘Til next time………..CHEERS!!