Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Thai Black Rice Salad with Salmon

Tonight I take a little break from all the Christmas baking I've been showing off, to showcase a recipe I've been dying to try ever since my new issue of Clean Eating arrived last week.  This salad was the first thing I tagged as a must-make when I flipped open the magazine.  It's every bit the flavour-packed meal it promises to be... and if I hadn't swapped out the red pepper for the green one, it'd be as much a colourful delight for the eyes.

In all honesty, this meal is a bit slow to prepare, and is a definite mess.  But with fresh spices, mango, onions, and honey, it was all over the map with great flavours that definitely do not say Christmas, it's easy to excuse the mess!  It was a welcome treat and a nice finish to my very busy day. (I love being busy at work, it makes the days until Christmas pass quicker!)

Thai Black Rice Salad with Salmon
Makes: 4 servings

1 cup Black Forbidden rice (I used long grain brown rice)
pinch sea salt, plus additional to taste
1/4 cup natural rice vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
juice from 2 limes
3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp raw honey
2 tsp sesame oil
8 oz boneless, skinless wild salmon, cut into 2-oz fillets
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1 red pepper, diced (I used green)
1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh mint, plus whole leaves for garnish
4 green onions
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
olive oil cooking spray
4 Tbsp raw unsalted slivered almonds or chopped peanuts

Combine rice, 2 cups cold water, and pinch of sea salt in a medium pot.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender 25 - 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and invert rice onto a baking sheet, using fork to spread out.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, lime juice, soy sauce, honey, and sesame oil.  In a large resealable bag, add salmon and 1/3 cup dressing.  Seal and gently turn bag to coat; refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine mango, bell pepper, cilantro, mint, and onions.  Add rice and remaining dressing.  Toss to coat and season with salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate as needed.

Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray.  Remove salmon from bag, discarding marinade.  Add salmon to skillet and cook, turning once, until flesh flakes easily when tested with a fork, about 4 minutes.  Remove from pan, transfer to a plate and set aside until completely cooled.  Spoon mango-rice mixture into serving bowls and top with salmon and almonds, dividing evenly.

Source: Clean Eating Magazine, Jan/Feb 2012 p. 64.

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