Why am I excited? Because this is not only a salad made with red rice (rice that is red, how cool is that?) but it is also made with red Thai curry paste – aka the most awesome Thai curry paste out there (I know yellow curry comes a very close second but, c’mon, nothing can beat red curry… It’s red curry!).
That’s right Red rice and Red curry paste together as one!
Right now this is my favourite Thai-inspired meal – this coming from the Thai food fanatic. Not only do we have red-Thai-curry-paste-infused fried red rice (say that quickly three times after a glass of wine or two!) but we also have coconut steamed brown rice, beansprouts, red peppers, cilantro, baby corn, and cherry tomatoes all coming together to bring you a nutrient packing, delicious, and slightly out there kinda salad.
Oh, don’t forget that tangy black pepper, lemongrass and lime dressing that you’ll pour over the top too…
This is one kick-ass salad that is not going to let you down.
SO… RED RICE.
Because white rice is sooooo 1999, red rice – along with its cousins black, wild, and green rice – is gaining popularity among foodies and I thought I would put my own little recipe into the mix.
So, for starters, red rice belongs to that group of grains known as “ancient grains”; grains that have changed little in several hundred or – usually- thousands of years (unlike the selective breeding of today’s commercial crops). Along with the rice varieties mentioned above the ancient grains label also includes: oats, sorghum, rye, amaranth, millet and corn among others.
Red rice has a smooth, earthy, and slightly nutty, flavour which can complement the flavours of any meal making it so (so so so so so!) much better than the bland nothingness of white rice. In fact when it comes to which rice is better, red rice is going to knock white rice flat on the floor.
If this was a boxing ring, white rice would be quivering in the corner with a split lip and a few broken ribs. Red rice, on the other hand, would be a great heavyweight victor unbeaten for thousands of years.
Not only does it taste better but red rice stands taller and prouder when it comes to nutrition, too, providing a great source of vitamins, minerals and protein. Red rice also contains high amounts of healthy boosting phytochemicals, flavonoids and other such amazing things that have been virtually stripped away from all white rice varieties.
And then, on top of the red rice, we’re going to add brown rice (another white rice beating food) steamed in coconut milk, and a gathering of veggies and herbs so that it all comes together in a salad that is not only super tasty, but super healthy too.
THE RED RICE SALAD
I won’t try and sugar coat this recipe by saying it is quick and easy because, it’s not.
Well, it is easy. If you can boil rice and chop a few ingredients on a chopping board then you are going to find this recipe a piece of cake but – if you’re looking for a 10 minute throw together salad this is not for you.
There are two types of rice in this recipe and they need to be cooked separately otherwise the brown rice turns red too! Once the red rice has cooked, and cooled, it is then fried together with the red thai curry paste and onions – just like fried rice.
And then there is the curry paste. Look, for ease and convenience I wont judge you (too much) if you go out to the store and buy a jar of red Thai curry paste. I get it, sometimes we need a little helping hand in the kitchen.
Buuuuuuuuttttt… if you want to be awesome then, of course, making your own from scratch is going to be the way to go.
And if “from scratch” has you thinking “long, tiresome time in the kitchen, crushing and blending ingredients into a curry paste” then, don’t worry, I have you covered.
Because I have a red Thai curry paste recipe that is quick and easy and dedicated to all of you out there that really want to make your own curry paste but think it’s just a little too much of a commitment that is full of scary-sounding ingredients.
Just a few readily found ingredients, a food processor (or motor and pestle for the muscly-purists out there) and a few minutes of your time and you will have yourself this awesome spice paste:
But don’t let the time consuming preparation put you off, though. Please don’t do that, because you’d miss out on so much awesomeness. And that would make me sad.
No, save this recipe (either print it off or pin it on Pinterest). Save it and pull it out at a time when you have a few minutes (make that an hour) on hand and people to impress because how many of your friends and family have eaten red rice…. with red Thai curry paste!?!?!?
Not many, huh?
Then imagine what it would be like to throw this salad out in front of the them… pretty awesome. And when you tell them you made the red Thai curry paste yourself…
Shield your eyes and cover your ears because your Nude Food Hero fireworks are about to go off!!!!
Thai-Flavoured Red Rice Salad with a Pepper, Lemongrass and Lime Dressing
Prep Time: 30 mins || Cook Time: 40 – 60 mins || Serves: 4 – 6
Rate this recipe:
- 1 cup of Red Rice
- 1/2 cup brown rice
- 1/2 cup coconut milk + 4 tbsp
- 1 Tbsp of coconut oil (can replace with any alternative)
- 2 tbsp minced shallots
- 1 1/2 tbsp red thai curry paste
- medium bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
- 100g bean sprouts
- 8 baby corns, sliced
- handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp minced lemongrass
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Soak the red rice in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse the rice. Place it in a saucepan with 2 more cups of water and bring to the boil. Cover and reduce to a very gentle simmer for 35 to 40 minutes until cooked. Allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, place the brown rice, 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1 cup of water into another saucepan. Bring to the boil. Cover and reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked and all liquid has been absorbed.
- In a pan, heat the coconut oil and fry the minced shallots for a minute or two. Add the red Thai curry paste and continue to cook for another minute or until fragrant. Add the 4 tbsp of coconut milk and stir until combined. Add the cooked red rice. Sir until the rice is evenly coasted with spice paste and milk mixture and heated through.
- Prepare the rest of the salad ingredients and, in a large bowl, toss together the the cooked brown and red rice.
- For the dressing: whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, minced lemongrass and black pepper.