I created this rice salad after a bit of experimentation with Moosewood's Sri Wasano's Infamos Indonesian Rice Salad recipe. I quickly decided I preferred rice noodles and large chunks of vegetables, over the brown rice and diced vegetables the original recipe called for. And once again, I couldn't resist the addition of fresh grated ginger.
Collect your ingredients, your favorite chef knife and cutting board and get ready for a sumptuous, flavorful, aesthetic delight.
Combine the following in a four cup pyrex measuring cup or equivalent size bowl and set aside:
1/3 cup peanut oil
3 tbs. sesame oil
2 tbs. rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tbs. soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, mashed and diced
1 tbs. fresh ginger, diced finely
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (I usually use more)
8-oz can crushed pineapple, including the juice
In a large bowl, combine the following:
3 scallions or green onions cut diagonally in 3/4" pieces
1 stalk celery chopped in 1/4" pieces, crosswise
3-4 miniature, red or orange bell peppers - top them, rotate your paring knife down inside the whole pepper to remove the seeds, the cut across in circles
8-oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
8-oz fresh mung bean sprouts
a large handful of fresh snow peas
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup whole cashews
Bring 8 cups water to a boil, remove from the burner, and add 14-oz stir-fry rice noodles. Let soak for 10 minutes and enjoy a glass of your favorite Sauvignon Blanc while you get the table set and the candles lit. (Truth be told, in my kitchen the wine is being sipped and candles are lit as soon as I put my apron on and get started…!) The Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc became a house favorite here last summer after discovering it in a Bar Harbor restaurant in Maine.
Drain the noodles once they are soft and pliable, but still a bit firm. Rinse with cold water and add the noodles to the large bowl with the vegetables. Combine gently, lifting not stirring, then add the sauce and continue to combine, careful not to mush the noodles. Top with 2 tbs. sesame seeds and serve.
-OR- Cover the sauce, and the vegetables and refrigerate a few hours or overnight. Cook the noodles closer to the time you want to serve the salad but let them cool before combining all the ingredients and serve cold. Leftovers are delicious, but never seem to last long!
I personally love a summer meal of salads, homemade bread, and a nice crisp, fruity wine. For a table of 8, make the Thai rice salad, wheat berry salad, a fresh green salad, two fresh loves of bread or crusty baguettes with olive oil for dipping, and serve with a generous offering of warm conversation and couple bottles of sparkling water with fresh lime, and some chilled wines. Top off the evening with a dollop of lemon sorbet and fresh berries.
And don't forget the flowers, candles, and linens...