Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Black Rice Salad with Sugar Snaps, Avocado, and Lime

Spring has (nearly) sprung woo hoo! Something about longer days and the jauntier slant of sunshine trickling through the windows has me in the mood for crisp green herbs and bright sunny flavors. Enter this yummy black rice salad with sugar snap peas, creamy avocado, lime, and spicy serranos.
This is party food at its best. It's perfect at room temperature, looks great on a buffet, and is just out of the ordinary but plump with plenty of familiar ingredients so as not to scare off less adventurous guests. An ice cold beer, ginger beer, or better yet, a Dark and Stormy - heavy on the lime, will only enhance the experience. Trust me.

Given the dash of heat from serranos, this isn't one for the least, not my kiddos. But as I always say, deconstruct! Black rice was a hit with my usually rice-resistant crew who were happy to suck on lime wedges while putting away plenty of snap peas and avocado slices too - just not all mixed together.
Black Rice with Sugar Snaps, Avocado, and Lime
adapted from Fine Cooking

10.5 ounces (about 1 & 1/2 cups) Chinese Black Rice (I found it at Whole Foods)
3 tbsp sunflower or canola oil
1/2 cup minced red onion
2 serrano chile pepper, with seeds, minced (or less, to taste)
1 tbsp fresh lime zest
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
kosher salt
4 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed and sliced on the diagonal
2 small, firm-ripe avocados (dice one, slice the other)
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
lime wedges for garnish

Put the rice in a large bowl and rinse in cold water 3 times until the water is barely cloudy. Drain the rice and transfer to a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add 2 & 3/4 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, turn heat to low and cook until the rice is tender, but not mushy, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover, and let sit at room temperature for an hour or 2, until the rice is cool.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook a few minutes until translucent. Add the serrano and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine the lime zest, juice, rice vinegar, fish sauce, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Whisk together.

Use a damp wooden spoon to turn the rice out into the large bowl containing the dressing mixture. Add the shallot mixture. Toss gently to coat the rice. Let the rice and dressing sit for at least 10 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Just before serving, stir in the snap peas, the diced avocado, and half the mint. Season with salt to taste. Top with remaining sliced avocado and mint. Serve with lime wedges.


  1. I am seeing black rice everywhere lately - You are so on trend! We'll have to try this, it looks good!

    1. It was really really good. The black rice is a nice change of pace. It's a little nuttier in flavor and so pretty with green vegetables!

  2. A wholesome salad! I love healthy nutty black rice.

    1. Agreed! Wholesome and delicious - can't beat that! :)