Try this Thai-inspired colorful rice salad as a side dish or top with chicken for a complete meal.If you’ve been reading, you know that I am one happy gal if served a hearty, colorful, crunchy, bold tasting salad for dinner.
A simple salad like my Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette over Arugula gives me a big flavor bite with effortless and minimal ingredients.
A more complex salad like my Frisée Salad with Warm Mushrooms and Truffle Oil is rich and decadent and full of a variety of unique toppings.
As much as I crave the lettuce crunch in those salads, I am totally enamored with this bright Coconut Confetti Rice Salad that is topped with a flavor-packed Ginger Peanut Sauce (that you’ll want to steal bites of all on its own).In my Jasmati rice preparation, I am adding the coconut milk and the garlic right in the pot, infusing this rice with so much yumminess!I’m topping our salads tonight with very simple, juicy baked chicken thighs.While both rice and chicken are cooking away, I mix up this easy-peasy and delicious Ginger Peanut Sauce. I start by microwaving the peanut butter and honey together just ’til soft enough to stir and combine. Then I toss in the the ginger, rice vinegar, and sesame oil and stir again. How simple was that?And after chopping all these fresh veggies……you can see why I call this dish “confetti” salad. How pretty is this?!These fresh, crisp and healthy vegetables are such a colorful and happy treat!!
The rice is ready to be fluffed and added to the bowl. A rainbow of veggies combined with creamy coconut rice and crunchy cashews?! Yes please!It is ready to be tossed and gently combined. With all the
multitasking chaos going on in my kitchen (in other words, tackling homework, whining, cleaning, scolding, cooking, breathing…breathing…staying calm), this meal can be perfectly served at room temperature to take some of the pressure off.
To make this a complete meal, each serving is topped with a simple baked chicken thigh and then that perfectly Thai-inspired Ginger Peanut sauce. It is bursting with freshness and will leave you satisfied…though tomorrow, you will be fighting for the leftovers because it is so so tasty. So make sure you call dibs on those. Lol.How do you use coconut milk in your cooking?
- COCONUT RICE:
- 1½ cups dry Jasmine or Jasmati rice, based on what is available in your grocery store
- 1 13.5 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 10 ounce package shredded red cabbage or ½ red cabbage thinly sliced
- ½ 10 ounce package shredded carrots
- ½ red onion, finely diced
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup cashews, chopped
- GINGER PEANUT SAUCE:
- ⅓ cup peanut butter
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- Water to thin, optional
- Lime wedges
- boneless, skinless chicken things
- olive oil
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Drizzle chicken thighs with olive oil, add salt and pepper and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until done.
- In a medium-sized pot, mix together the rice, coconut milk, garlic, salt, and water. Cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, turn off heat and let sit, covered, for an additional 10 minutes.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the peanut butter and honey. Microwave for 15-30 seconds. Stir well.
- Add the ginger, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Stir again. Thin to desired consistency by adding water.
- Add all fresh chopped ingredients to a large bowl.
- When the rice is done, fluff with a fork and add to the large bowl.
- Toss gently to combine.
- Serve coconut rice salad topped with a chicken thigh, a squeeze of a lime wedge, chopped cashews and the desired amount of ginger peanut sauce.