asian brown rice salad

Well, I honestly never thought the day would come where I would find myself addicted to a salad. Hmm, it’s certainly a very strange feeling. Even when I went back for third and fourth helpings of this, I felt a bit shocked that I was enjoying a salad so much.

Of course, this isn’t the ‘typical’ kind of salad you would imagine, as I’m not one for anything too conventional. It’s a ‘salad’ that’s packed with brown rice, has no salad leaves, and a dressing that’s more like a curry sauce. But, it’s filled with vegetables, and you eat it (kind of) cold – so to me that’s classified as a salad. A salad with an exotic, spicy twist.

I’m utterly obsessed with Asian flavours, and one of my favourite things to make at home is a spicy peanut sauce. Usually, I make a curry from it or use it as a satay dip. However, as it’s still Summer at the moment, I decided now was the time to take it to the next level and use it as a salad dressing. It’s definitely this sauce that makes the salad so addictive. I really do love it. I like to make it from a classic combination of ingredients like peanut butter, coconut milk, curry powder, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and many other things. Then, I blend everything together and the flavours magically merge into a sauce that’s spicy, creamy and full of taste.

The secret ingredient to this sauce is the coconut syrup, which adds a subtle sweetness and helps to harmonise all of the flavours together. I use Coconut Merchant’s syrup, which is really delicious and easily available online and across the UK. However if you can’t get any coconut syrup where you live, then maple syrup or rice syrup should work well in its place too!

I recently partnered with the brand Coconut Merchant, where I was given a selection of all of their products to trial and create recipes with. This was my first recipe featuring their coconut syrup, and I can’t wait to continue making more recipes from their other products! They are the kindest company, and their products are amazing.

I hope you enjoy the recipe!

asian brown rice salad

serves about 4


for the salad:

1 large carrot

1 courgette (zucchini)

1/2 cucumber

1 apple

1 cup (190g) brown rice

1 tsp rice vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for the dressing:

3 tbsp smooth peanut butter

2 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp rice vinegar

2 tsp coconut syrup – I used Coconut Merchant’s

5 tbsp coconut cream

1 tbsp medium curry powder

1 tbsp tamari soy sauce

1/2 tsp chilli powder

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1-2 cm piece fresh root ginger, grated

1/4 tsp salt

to serve:

1-2 packets of Taifun Smoked Tofu (or any other tofu product/side etc.)


1. Firstly, cook your rice. Fill a large pan with water about half way, and bring to a boil on a medium-high heat. Then, add in the rice and cook for around 20-25 minutes.

2. While the rice cooks, prepare the salad. In turn, grate the courgette, cucumber, apple and carrot lengthways into rough strips. Then, add them into a large mixing bowl and set aside somewhere cool.

3. Then, make the dressing. Add the peanut butter, sesame oil, rice vinegar, coconut syrup, coconut cream, curry powder, soy sauce, chilli powder, garlic, ginger and salt into a small blender (I used my NutriBullet), and blend together until smooth. Then, set aside.

4. When the rice has cooked, remove it from the heat, drain and allow to cool slightly for a couple of minutes. In the meantime, following any instructions on your packaging, prepare/cook your tofu or other accompanying ingredient.

5. Then, when the rice has cooled, add it in to the mixing bowl with the other salad ingredients, the rice vinegar, salt and some black pepper. Stir everything together until well mixed.

6. When the tofu has cooked, remove it from the oven and assemble the dish onto plates or bowls to serve. I do this by spooning the salad onto plates/bowls, topping with the tofu and then drizzling with the dressing to finish.

asian brown rice salad asian brown rice salad asian brown rice salad

34 thoughts on “asian brown rice salad

  1. Oooh – Harriet, your spicy peanut dressing with coconut syrup needs to be on store shelves! You showcase some very interesting ingredients – now I need to look for coconut syrup too!

  2. Asian flavors are kinda totally the best 😉 From peanut to coconut, sweet to spicy, it encompasses it all! And with a “salad” like this…everyone will fall in love with Asian flavors! xoxo

  3. I could finish the whole bowl and ask for a 2nd helping! So delicious with smoked tofu.

  4. Mmmmm.. yum! I’m not a huge fan of tofu, so I might try this with chicken instead 🙂

  5. I love that you put carrot+apple+cucumber in here! I have never tried those with rice before (well the carrot but not apple and cucumber) it’s sounds delicious and it’s looks really colorful too! YUM!!! 😉 pinning this to try!

  6. Asian flavors are my favorite, I could see myself getting addicted to this salad too! The mixture of rice with grated veggies (and apple! which I love) is such a fantastic idea! They all become sorta the same texture but different tastes, love it <3 With that ridiculously delicious sounding sauce I could see myself eating many, many servings!

  7. I could easily get addicted to this salad too! The dressing and the smoked tofu (!?) both sound glorious and such a brilliant contrast to the crunchy fresh salad! Probably going to make this or something very similar for lunch today…

  8. I need to get my hands on some coconut syrup. I’m always up for Asian flavors, especially in a salad. Great recipe Harriet!

  9. Looks so healthy and delicious, Harriet! I love salads too, and I especially love a great peanut sauce…and one with a kick! 😉 This would make eating veggies feel like the most easy thing in the world 🙂

  10. I have never tried coconut syrup but sounds delicious! love the bowl Harriet, could easily polish it off for lunch!

  11. I am such a sucker for salads like this! This looks amazing – and that peanut sauce! I need to try coconut syrup! Sounds right up my alley!

  12. This looks gorgeous – totally can understand getting addicted to it. Looks lovely and light (especially with apple!), and that dressing sounds amaaazing, so full of flavour! I wonder what green mango would be like added to the salad mix (I’m a big fan haha) 🙂

  13. I love the zesty flair of this salad, Harriet! It gives me another excuse to make brown rice, too! Sounds delicious, especially with the curry!

  14. I’m addicted to salads, too! This looks perfect, love the zucchini in there! Pinning to make it for lunch!

  15. This looks delicious — I don’t blame you for being addicted 😀 Asian flavors is something I only got into in the last few years, so I’m always eager to discover new dishes and flavors 🙂

  16. You had me at peanut butter. Coconut syrup is new to me, I need to look for it here! This rice salad looks so YUM and I want to bite my screen! Really, this is making me DROOL!

  17. What a lovely, light and healthy dinner option. I love tofu, especially now I’m trying to cut meat out of my diet. Tofu is a life saver! That peanut sauce sounds amazing 😀

  18. This sounds incredible! That dressing sounds to.die.for! And these photos are stunning!

  19. I absolutely love the flavor combinations that you used here! The dressing sounds completely amazing and I love your photography, too!

  20. This sounds so delicious, Harriet! Can’t wait to try the dressing! 🙂

  21. How could anyone not be addicted to this beauty? I mean, come’on! Plus, I love that it’s a Asian inspired salad since thre aren’t as many of those in the world (in my opinion)… meaning you’ve got some major salad game got going on my friend.

  22. This sounds like my kind of salad, Harriet! I’m all about Asian flavors and I just love the ingredients you have going on in your dressing! Tangy, spicy, & sweet…Mmm, definitely will have to make this soon!

  23. Yum I love how fresh and delicious this looks. Peanut sauce on everything…

  24. Oh my gosh this looks heavenly Harriet! I LOVE that it is unconventional…I love rice so much and having it as the base for a salad is wonderful in my opinion! I love, love Asian flavors too. I love all the spices and flavorings you have going on in that dressing too…pretty much salivating over that! I want that whole plate is a beautiful dish as well!

  25. Wow! This looks amazing, Harriet! I love how healthy and flavorful this salad is! I am addicted to salads like this too and could eat this every day!

  26. Peanut sauce, brown rice, and vegetables, how could this not be delicious. And I love the tofu on top. This is totally my kind of meal!

  27. looks great…. did I miss something?? Was trying to figure out where to click for printer friendly version… …

    1. Hi Carol, thank you so much! I don’t think I have a printer version, I’m so sorry! I would suggest copying and pasting the recipe onto word, or printing the webpage? (I will find a way to install a printer friendly option asap!!!!) Sorry about this! I hope this helps 😀

  28. YUM! I could totally imagine myself going back for seconds! or 3rds! Pinned! 😀 Thanks for sharing this delicious, fresh dish, Harriet! 😀

  29. I’m making this now and it is going to be wonderful! I’m going to make zoodles with all the vegetables! I’m making it at 11:00 at night for lunches this week but I want some now! I’m thinking I might put this together in glass jars. Rice and dressing on the bottom, veggies in the middle. I’m going to sprinkle some peanuts in the top

    1. Thank you so much for making my recipe Karela!!! It means so much to me! I really hope you enjoy it! Putting it in glass jars sounds like such a great idea, and I love the idea of adding peanuts! Yum! 😀

  30. Now this looks like a salad that’s worth being addicted too! Looks and sounds incredible 🙂

  31. so many things about this that i love!! i have also found the light with peanut sauce. i make it once and week and put it on everthing!! secondly – smoked tofu is the perfect substitute for regular tofu IMO. great recipe 🙂

  32. I have noticed you don’t monetize your website, don’t waste your traffic, you
    can earn additional cash every month because you’ve got high quality
    content. If you want to know how to make extra money, search
    for: Mertiso’s tips best adsense alternative

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *