How to Make a Rice Salad

How to Make a Rice Salad There are many types of rice salad. In general, rice salad has a thin dressing, rice, and vegetables combined. You may have something simple like white rice, cucumbers, and vinaigrette, or you can have something more complex with sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, papaya and feta cheese. You can combine almost anything together in a rice salad that you want. Wild rice is also used to make tasty salads, often combined with meat of some kind, sweet grapes, nuts and a light dressing. Rice salads can be made ahead of time, but reserve most of the dressing until just before serving so the rice does not get mushy. This recipe is a little different. It uses sweet rice, also known as sushi rice. You can find it in Asian markets. Sushi rice is sticky when it is cooked and it has a slightly sweet flavor. The rest of the ingredients are commonly used in sushi dishes. The entire salad has a wonderful Japanese flavor. If you like sushi, this salad will be a hit. It makes a wonderful lunch or even a light dinner. Alternatively, you can use it as a side dish. Recipe for Sushi Rice Salad This unique twist on rice salad will be an instant hit. What You Need 1/2 cup short grain sushi rice 3/4 cup plus 1-1/2 Tablespoons water 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar 1 Tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 medium carrot 1-1/4 teaspoons wasabi paste 1-1/2 Tablespoons vegetable oil 1/2 large seedless cucumber, peeled, halved, cored and chopped 3 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal 3 Tablespoons Japanese pickled ginger, drained, sliced and coarsely chopped 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted 1 avocado 8 fresh shiso leaves (optional) 1 (6 inch) square toasted nori, cut into thin strips with scissors How to Make It Rinse the rice in several changes of cold water until the water runs clear. Drain in a colander for 30 minutes. Place rice and 1-3/4 cups of water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Cover and simmer for two minutes. Remove the rice from the heat and let it stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Do not lift the lid. While the rice finishes, bring the vinegar, sugar, and salt just to a boil in a very small saucepan. Stir it constantly until the sugar dissolves completely. Let it cool 2 minutes. Spread the rice in a large shallow pan. Sprinkle it with the vinegar mixture and toss it with a wooden spoon. Using a vegetable peeler, shave thin lengths from the carrot. Cut the slices diagonally into strips 1/4 inch wide. Whisk the wasabi, the remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons of water, and oil together in a bowl. Add the rice, carrot, cucumber, ginger, scallions, and sesame seeds. Toss gently. Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, and peel it. Cut crosswise into slices 1/4 inch thick. Arrange 2 shiso leaves (if you are using them) on each of 4 plates. Top with the avocado and rice mixture and sprinkle with nori strips. Serves 4.