Thai Black Rice Salad with Wild Salmon

Black Forbidden rice gets its name from ancient China, where the dark-hued grain was banned from commoners and reserved strictly for royalty and nobility. Today, it can be found in local markets and ethnic grocery stores, and is commonly used in Thai cooking.
Thai Black Rice Salad

Photo: Yvonne Duivenvoorden

By Joanne Lusted

Serves: 4
Hands-on time
: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes (includes chilling time)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup Black Forbidden rice
  • Pinch sea salt, plus additional to taste
  • 1/4 cup natural rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice 2 limes
  • 3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp Sriracha hot chile sauce, optional
  • 8 oz boneless, skinless wild salmon, cut into 2-oz fillets
  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh mint, plus whole leaves for garnish
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 4 tbsp raw unsalted slivered almonds or chopped peanuts

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a medium pot, combine rice, 2 cups cold water and pinch salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and invert rice onto a large baking sheet, using a fork to spread out on sheet. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare dressing: In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil and, if desired, Sriracha sauce. In a large resealable bag, add salmon and 1/3 cup dressing. Seal and gently turn bag to coat; refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine mango, bell pepper, cilantro, mint and onions. Add rice and remaining dressing. Toss to coat and season with salt and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  4. Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium-high and coat with cooking spray. Remove salmon from bag, discarding marinade. Add salmon to skillet and cook, turning once, until flesh flakes easily when tested with a fork, about 4 minutes. Remove from pan, transfer to a plate and set aside until completely cooled. Spoon mango-rice mixture into serving bowls and top with salmon and almonds, dividing evenly.

Nutrients per serving (2 cups black rice salad, 2 oz salmon, 1 tbsp almonds): Calories: 448, Total Fat: 14 g, Sat. Fat: 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g, Omega-3s: 1,030 mg, Omega-6s: 1,430 mg, Carbs: 57 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 11 g, Protein: 18 g, Sodium: 516 mg, Cholesterol: 31 mg

Nutritional Bonus: Studies show black rice bran to be higher in anthocyanin antioxidants than blueberries, which traditionally steal the spotlight for their antioxidant properties. The plant pigment, which gives the grain its signature color, may reduce your risk for heart disease and cancer and reduce levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood.

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