Vegan Asian Rice Salad

Vegetarian and vegan Asian brown rice salad with snow peas and bell peppers
Photo by J. Hackett
Ratings (7)
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 6-8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
319 Calories
9g Fat
53g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6-8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 319
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 318mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 53g 19%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Protein 6g
Calcium 42mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Need a quick dinner idea or a way to use up leftover rice? Try this healthy vegan Asian rice salad recipe, a nutritious vegetarian meal made with brown rice and vegetables for a fantastic mix of flavors and textures. It's a little bit sweet and a little bit sour, with lots of crunchy texture. 

You can serve this hot, but it really shines as a cold salad, making it a perfect vegetarian option for picnics, potlucks, and barbecues, since it's easy to make a big batch.

This rice salad dish makes a simple vegan dinner idea for a hot summer day. It's also a simple gluten-free vegan dinner idea, though be sure to use certified gluten-free rice vinegar. If you like flavorful vegetarian rice recipes such as this one, you might also want to try a vegan Spanish paella.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup peanut oil (you can substitute a neutral-flavored oil such as safflower oil or canola oil)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt (or sea salt)
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice (chilled)
  • 1 carrot (diced)
  • 1/2 cup snow peas (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 stalk celery (diced)
  • 1/2 red or yellow bell pepper (diced)
  • 3 green onions (chopped)
  • Optional: 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • Garnish: 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

Steps to Make It

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the peanut oil, salt, black pepper, sugar, and sesame oil. Whisk until the sugar dissolves, then pour the mixture over the chilled brown rice in a large mixing bowl. Toss gently to coat the rice, then set the bowl aside.

  2. Steam the diced carrots, snow peas, and corn if desired, for 1 to 2 minutes, until they just start to turn tender. Plunge them into an ice bath to flash chill them and halt the cooking process, drain them, then stir the vegetables into the rice.

  3. Add the remaining ingredients, from the rice vinegar through the chopped green onions, and toss to distribute the vegetables throughout the rice. Serve the salad chilled and garnished with chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, if desired.

Variations

  • Substitute rice noodles, quinoa, farro (note that it won't be a gluten-free dish), or another favorite grain for the brown rice.

  • Add bean sprouts, shelled edamame, chopped peanuts, or a squeeze of fresh lime for a bright flavor. Substitute chopped fresh mint for the parsley or cilantro.

  • Add minced garlic or ginger, a dab of chili paste, or a dash of red pepper flakes to taste for a spicy component.

  • Add cooked lentils to increase the heft and protein content of the dish.

  • Top the salad with popcorn, spicy baked chick peas, or seasoned hemp seeds for a creative crunch.

  • Serve the salad on a bed of arugula, kale, spinach, or other greens.