This is a great salad for a summer backyard party or a light dinner. It is also a salad kids seem to love. This salad uses white Thai jasmine rice but you could make it with Thai red or brown rice. The spice level is low but if you want to make it spicy just add a little more curry paste.
TIP: This salad can also be made using cold leftover rice from the night before, just adjust the ingredients to the amount of rice you have left over. For a vegan/ vegetarian option use tofu or tempeh, just omit the fish sauce and make sure the Thai curry paste is vegan. You will only need cook the tofu or tempeh for about 5 minutes in total.
THAI GREEN RICE SALAD
EF, DF, GF (VEGETARIAN or VEGAN OPTION INCLUDED)
1½ cups (300g) JASMINE RICE
2 tsp THAI GREEN CURRY PASTE
3 tbsp BOILING HOT WATER
3 tbsp COCONUT CREAM or MILK
1 tsp RICE VINEGAR
1 tsp RAW SUGAR
2 tsp FISH SAUCE (optional)
A pinch of SALT and freshly GROUND BLACK PEPPER
1½ cups (150g) DESICCATED COCONUT
1 tbsp COCONUT OIL or RICE BRAN OIL
400 – 500g CHICKEN THIGHS, diced into small bite-sized pieces or 300g TOFU/TEMPEH (see tip)
2 tbsp SWEET CHILLI SAUCE
2 cups (120g) large SPINACH, leaves and stem finely chopped
1 cup (40g) FRESH CORIANDER or BASIL, leaves and stem finely chopped 120g GREEN BEANS, raw and finely chopped
200g MUNG BEAN SPROUTS, roughly chopped
3 SPRING ONIONS, white and green part finely chopped
½ cup (70g) SALTED ROASTED CASHEW NUTS or PEANUTS, roughly chopped
To prepare the rice: cook the rice following the instructions on the packet, using the absorption method, and set aside to cool a little. In a small bowl combine the Thai green curry paste, hot water, coconut cream, vinegar, sugar, fish sauce, salt and pepper. In a large serving bowl combine the cooked rice with the curry paste mixture. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes.
To toast the desiccated coconut: place a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the coconut and cook for a few minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and transfer into a small bowl and set aside to cool.
To cook the chicken/tofu tempeh: return the pan to the heat. Increase the temperature to high and add the oil, and when hot, add the chicken. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the sweet chilli sauce. Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring every so often until the chicken is nicely caramelised and cooked through. Remove from the heat and set aside.
To prepare and serve the salad: in a large serving bowl, mix the toasted coconut, spinach, coriander, beans, sprouts and spring onions with the rice. Add the chicken and nuts, toss to combine, and season to taste.