This wild rice salad was lucky to get on the dinner table it was that delicious! Nutty wild rice, sautéed Asian mushrooms in a scrumptious sesame dressing – all full of wonderful umami flavour. A wonderful make-ahead salad, ideal for big parties and weekday lunches or why not wow your friends at a potluck.
This mouth-watering “just can’t stop eating it” wild rice salad was cause for debate over our dinner table. I thought that it really benefited with a squeeze of lime juice on top but my mum and beautiful niece just loved it the way it was, try it yourself and let us know what you think.
We served this moreish little number with harissa lamb cutlets but it really would go well with any grilled meats, poultry or fish or anything spicy such as with chilli fish or chilli beef ribs or even some spicy garlic prawns.
What I love most about this salad is that it lasts in the fridge for a week which makes it great to use to meal prep weekday lunches. And it is perfect if you are entertaining large groups as you can make it a day or two ahead and serve it on the day. Travels beautifully which makes it great for picnics and potlucks.
What is wild rice?
Wild rice is not a grain at all but an aquatic grass it is simply referred to as rice because it looks similar and you cook it the same way.
It has an exquisitely nutty flavour, rich in protein, full of antioxidants, boosts alkalinity and is gluten and grain-free. The only drawback is that it takes a long time to cook – at least 45 minutes.
How to cook Wild-Rice
There are two different methods you can use for cooking brown rice. Boil it in a pan with lots of water then strain and rinse or cook it in a flavourful stock.
The first method is easy and this is the method that I most use for salads.
- Place one cup of wild rice in a saucepan with lots of water and some salt and let it boil for 45 minutes or until it is cooked.
- You can tell that wild rice is ready when you start to see the grains split and you see some light brown hues in your rice, it should be tender when you taste it.
- Once cooked strain it well in a colander and rinse with some cold water. I let the water run until it becomes cold enough to use in a salad.
The second method is great if you are serving it as part of a meal like a stew or a curry.
- Combine 1 cup uncooked wild rice with 3 cups liquid I usually use stock but water is fine.
- Bring it to a boil and then reduce to a simmer then put the lid back on and turn down the heat and cook a further 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- As before it is ready when the grains split with light brown hues and it tastes tender.
- Then you just fluff your wild rice with a fork and it is ready to serve.
As wild rice takes a while to cook I usually cook a big batch, let it cool and freeze it in individual bags or freezer containers and defrost it to use whenever I like.
How to make your wild rice salad
1Cook your wild rice
Follow the detailed instructions above and while your rice is happily boiling away on your stovetop you can prepare the rest of your salad.
2Prepare the mushrooms
Clean your mushrooms by either submerging in water and draining or by wiping with a paper towel. Cut off the bottom end of the stems then dice.
Place the coconut and sesame oil in a hot pan, add the mushrooms, add the ginger and garlic and stir through then sauté until golden, then add the soy and fish sauces, mix through and once the liquid has been absorbed, add your sesame seeds then take it off the stove. This should all take approximately 15 minutes.
3Chop herbs and make your dressing
While your mushrooms are browning in their pan and your wild rice is cooking.
Wash your coriander, shake to remove excess water, pat dry, then cut off the stems and roughly chop.
Add all the dressing ingredients to a glass jar and shake until emulsified.
4Assemble your wild rice salad
Place your cooked rice, mushroom mix and chopped coriander/cilantro in a large mixing bowl, pour over your dressing and mix everything until it is well combined.
Arrange in a salad bowl sprinkle some Japanese Furikake or sesame seeds on top to garnish and keep chilled in your fridge until you are ready to serve.
Tips for making this salad
- Make sure you use true wild rice and not a mix or blend from your supermarket. You should be able to find wild rice at a Woolworths in Australia or Trader Joe’s in the US alternatively you could try any large health food stores.
- Be generous with the water when you are cooking your wild rice and make sure that it is topped up so that it does not burn or become soggy.
- Definitely use the coconut and dark sesame oil to sauté your mushrooms in as the added flavour is out of this world.
- While you can use any mushroom that takes your fancy try adding some dried shiitake or porcini mushrooms and rehydrating they will add some extra mushroomy flavour.
- Any leftovers are happy sitting and chilling in your fridge for a week until you are ready to use them again. (Yeah good luck with that, I find myself constantly stealing spoonfuls and suddenly it is all gone!).
Why not try some more of our grain salads
For the salad
- 1 cup wild rice (approximately 150 grams)
- 500 grams mushrooms (I used a mix of king oyster and shiitake but cremini, Swiss brown, Shimeji or white button mushrooms are also good)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp Asian style dark sesame oil
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tbsp thin soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fish sauce (or coconut aminos for vegan)
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 bunch coriander (cilantro) (1 cup chopped)
For the sesame vinaigrette
- 3 tbsps neutral oil (I used MCT Oil)
- 3 tbsps Asian sesame oil
- 3 tbsps rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp thin soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds toasted
- 1 tsp black sesame seeds or Nigella seeds
- 1 tbsp Furikake (a Japanese seasoning) or 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- Place one cup of wild rice in a saucepan with lots of water add some salt and let it boil for 45 minutes or until it is tender.
- You can tell that wild rice is ready when you start to see the grains split and you see some light brown hues in your rice.
- Once cooked strain it well in a colander and rinse with some cold water.
- Clean your mushrooms by either submerging in water and draining or by wiping with a paper towel.
- Cut off the bottom end of the mushroom stems then dice.
- Place the coconut and sesame oils in a hot pan, add the mushrooms, ginger and garlic, stir through and sauté until golden.
- Then add the soy and fish sauces, mix through and once the liquid has been absorbed, add your sesame seeds then take your pan off the stove.
- In the meantime, wash your coriander, shake to remove excess water, pat dry, cut off the stems and roughly chop.
- Add all the dressing ingredients to a glass jar and shake until emulsified.
- Place everything in a large mixing bowl, pour over your dressing and mix everything until it is well combined.
- Arrange in a salad bowl, sprinkle some Furikake or sesame seeds on top to garnish and keep chilled in your fridge until you are ready to serve.