I was scouring my recipe books yesterday in search of something light and fresh to serve my friends for lunch, and couldn't resist this beautiful rice salad from Donna Hay's Simple Essentials Chicken. The recipe was indeed simple, calling for only a handful of ingredients, and the photo (complete with Donna's amazing styling) was pretty hard to go past.
The resulting salad was fresh and fragrant with herbs, not overpowered with too much dressing. I deviated only slightly from the recipe, adding crisp red capsicum at the end because I just felt it was lacking a bit of colour.
I will definitely be making this one again - it's perfect for a picnic or to take to work for lunch.
4 cups cooked long grain rice - cooled
2 skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped
2 small red chillies, finely chopped (remove the seeds if you like less heat)
4 spring onions, sliced
1 cup chopped fresh mint
3/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
1/2 red capsicum, finely sliced
4 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
3 tbsp lime juice (with extra wedges to serve)
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp caster sugar
Heat a frying pan over high heat, add the oil, lemongrass, chilli and half the spring onions and cook until just softened.
In a large bowl combine the cooled rice, chicken, mint, coriander, lime leaves, capsicum, lemongrass mixture and the remaining spring onions. Toss well to combine.
To make the dressing simply combine the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar in a bowl and whisk to dissolve all the sugar. Pour over the rice, give a final mix and then chill until ready to serve. Serve with extra lime or lemon wedges to squeeze over just prior to eating. Enjoy!