Friday, August 28, 2009

Nemoto Kiko’s Mexican Brown Rice Salad

In the process of indulging my cookbook obsession, I’ve bought lots of books by Nemoto Kiko, a food coordinator and writer who runs a café called Coya in Zushi, not far from Tokyo. Her books feature simple, tasty recipes that are ‘new old fashioned’ – by which I mean she takes traditional ingredients and gives them a twist. Her style is very much neo-japonica – rediscovering beautiful, rustic and simplistic Japanese design for today.

I recently made her Mexican Brown Rice Salad from her book Uchi No Shuumatsu Gohan (Homestyle Weekend Meals) which was simple and delicious. The leftovers kept well for lunch the following day too, which was even better!

Nemoto Kiko’s Mexican Brown Rice Salad

2 rice bowls of cooked brown rice
150 g chickpeas
130 g corn kernels
150 g flaked tuna (note, I replaced tuna with extra chickpeas)
1 celery stick
2 tomatoes
1 avocado
cubed cheese to taste (parmesan, mozzarella etc)
2 Tbsps olive oil
1 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tsps wholegrain mustard
½ tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste
mint or oregano to taste

Put the rice in a large sieve or strainer and rinse under cold water to remove any stickiness. Set aside to drain thoroughly. Drain the chickpeas, corn and tuna (if using).

Cut the celery into 1 cm cubes. Cut the tomatoes in half and de-seed, then cut into 1 cm cubes. Cube the avocado and cut into 1 cm cubes, sprinkling with lemon juice or vinegar to prevent it browning. Cube the cheese.

Put the rice into a large bowl and add the cubed vegetables and cheese, then mix. Combine the dressing ingredients and mix with the rice mixture, then top with fresh mint or oregano as desired.

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