Oz, I realize this is one of those long, boringly obvious recipe titles that you loathe; however, my imagination is too sleepy to come up with something creative! This is a recipe that morphed in my kitchen from a seafood salad published in Worldwide Recipes, to my vegetarian version, which is considerably reworked. Among other changes, I substituted edamame beans and gluten “veggie meat” for the original shrimp. The finished dish, which may be a salad, side dish or even a one-dish-meal, can be served lukewarm, hot or chilled.
Makes a generous 12 cups
4 to 5 cups cooked brown rice (or quinoa)*
1 (16-ounce) package frozen, hulled edamame (green soybeans)
1 (6-ounce) package fresh or frozen snow peas (or sugar snap peas), ends trimmed
1 (16-ounce) can baby corn, drained, then halved crosswise, using a diagonal cut
1 (10-ounce) can Companion brand “Chai Pow Yu” (braised gluten tidbits; optional), drained
1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded, cut lengthwise into thin strips, then halved crosswise
3/4 cup favorite Italian salad dressing (I used a lower-fat organic variety)
1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce (yes, the spelling is correct, I use Mae Ploy brand)
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon mushroom seasoning (MSG-free; I buy this at our local Asian market – may substitute a seasoning packet from ramen noodles)
1 to 2 teaspoons toasted (dark) sesame seed oil
1/2 teaspoon ginger paste
To make the salad:
Place chilled cooked rice into a large mixing bowl; fluff with a fork.
(If necessary, begin early and cook rice as directed on the package before proceeding with the recipe).
If rice was just cooked, transfer to a large mixing bowl; fluff with a fork, then allow to cool at least to lukewarm before adding other ingredients.
Fill a medium saucepan to within 1 or 2 inches from the top with hot tap water; cover and bring to a rolling boil.
When the water is boiling vigorously, add the edamame and trimmed peas; bring back to a boil, then continue boiling for 2 to 3 minutes.
Using a colander, drain the blanched edamame and peas, then run under icy cold water to halt cooking.
Add well-drained vegetables and the remaining salad ingredients to the bowl; set aside.
To make the dressing:
In a small liquid measuring cup or bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients.
Pour the dressing over the salad.
Gently stir the dressing into the salad until the rice and vegetables are evenly coated.
If serving lukewarm, transfer the salad to a serving bowl and serve immediately; if serving hot, heat the salad in a skillet first, then transfer to a serving bowl; if serving chilled, cover, then refrigerate to serve later.
Recipe by LuAnn Bermeo, author of Amazing Meals I and II; very loosely based on a seafood salad from Worldwide Recipes email newsletter. Photo by LuAnn, taken without the optional veggie meat.