Monday, June 09, 2008

Another round of red rice...

Remember when we tried that unusual (to us at least!) Wehani rice a few months ago for the first time?

Well, I finally got another chance to try out that red rice tonight in this Szechuan Chicken and Red Rice Salad with Sesame Dressing dish.

This time, we cooked the rice for slightly less than the last time we used it - I'm not sure if we played around differently with the simmer temperature or what, but the grains were pleasantly chewy, yet still tender. If you can't locate Wehani rice specifically, you could use any red rice - just note that you may need to play around with the broth (or water, if desired) to rice ratio.

As the rice was cooling, we cooked (use whichever method is best for you - we simply poached) and shredded a couple chicken breasts before we started on the tongue-tingling dressing. With a myriad of complimenting flavors, creamy tahini, salty soy sauce, rice vinegar, hot sesame oil, toasted sesame oil, granulated sugar to balance, minced fresh ginger, a couple garlic cloves and crushed Szechuan peppercorns for that lingering tingle are whisked together, creating the dressing. A couple tablespoons worth of this mixture are tossed with the shredded chicken before being drizzled over the colored rice.

To serve, a bed of the rice is created on each serving dish, then topped with crunchy bean sprouts, the moistened shredded chicken, scallions and a sprinkling of peanuts. I did have to veer from the recipe at this point - I apparently left an ingredient off the shopping list yesterday and had to forgo the cucumber the recipe called for. While I didn't feel like I was missing a component once I tried a bite, the crisp slices would be a nice cooling contrast to the pungent dressing. A couple notes on the dressing - if you don't already happen to have hot sesame oil, you could replace it with additional toasted sesame oil and maybe add a squirt or two of Sriracha for a little kick.

The tahini is a sesame seed paste that we typically have in the refrigerator, however you could use a creamy peanut butter since you are using peanuts at the end. We both agree, though, that the tahini brought a more complex nature which made the dressing that much more interesting.


  1. Interesting. I still haven't had red rice...but I've read a lot about it and would love to try it.

  2. Hillary - It is worth seeking out in my opinion!