This spicy cilantro mango wild rice salad is filled with cabbage, jicama and pickled jalapeños and tossed in a bright cilantro mango dressing.
Ok, let’s get one thing out of the way because it’s literally staring at me in the face and making me feel the need to explain myself.
See those poppy seeds on this salad? They’re supposed to be black sesame seeds.
But apparently, I was in la-la land when I reached in the pantry and didn’t realize it until those suckers were already stuck on there, far too late.
So if you’re thinking why the hell did this weirdo put poppy seeds on a salad that clearly has no poppy-seedness (yeah, that’s a word) to it, I’m a space cadet, that’s why.
With summer right around the corner, I’m officially declaring it salad season.
No lame bowls of greens, tomatoes and sliced onions though, I’m talking fruit filled, veggie packed, brightly dressed salads that you can make a meal of.
Isn’t it funny how this would probably be the last thing on earth you’d want to eat in the dead of winter and yet the second the weather turns warm, you just crave it?
Or maybe it’s just the lingering thought that at any point in time you could be sporting a bikini poolside and your mind subconsciously thinks SALAD instead of MAC ‘N CHEESE!
Ok, sometimes mine still thinks MAC ‘N CHEESE, I just try and tell it to shut up.
I’ll be working with Nakano this year to bring you guys some healthy and flavorful recipe ideas using their rice vinegars and we’re kicking things off today with the mango-seasoned rice vinegar in this salad.
I adore vinegar. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before but I would drink the balsamic dressing (we were a boring house and salad dressing never came from a bottle, just evoo + balsamic, always.) out of the bottom of the salad bowl as a kid.
Balsamic is lip puckering tart, so when I tasted this mango rice vinegar, which is a bit sweeter (because, well duh, it tastes like mango) I seriously thought I could pour myself a glass and happily sip it.
Not even kidding.
But, that might be a weird recipe:
Ingredients: mango rice vinegar
Directions: pour in glass and sip
So instead, I paired it with some bright fresh cilantro for a summery dressing poured over cabbage, jicama, mango and wild rice.
Jicama is a totally underused vegetable, let’s change that this summer.
It deserves to shine outside of the pre-packaged vegetable trays at the supermarket. If you agree, try this jicama salad with mango, red pepper, cucumber and a delicious honey lime dressing. It doesn’t disappoint.
And mango, well mango is just the best summer fruit there is if you ask me, mostly because it involves standing over the sink sucking every possible bit of flesh off the pit like a savage after slicing it.
You know you do it.
Between the mango pieces, the mango rice vinegar and the fresh cilantro, this salad is filled with flavor while still being healthy for you. It’s similar to this mango quinoa spinach salad except with rice and more crunch. Both are excellent and guaranteed to win over any mango lover.
Bring on summer and bring on that bikini.
Ok, maybe a few more salads before the bikini…
Spicy Cilantro Mango Wild Rice Salad
For the Salad
- 1 cup dry wild rice
- 2 not quite fully ripened mangos, cut into matchsticks
- 2 cups shredded green cabbage
- 2 cups jicama cut into matchsticks
- 2 pickled jalapeños, seeded and minced
- black sesame seeds for garnish
- cilantro leaves for garnish
For the Dressing
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
- juice of 1/2 a lime
- 3 tablespoons Nakano mango-seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon agave, or honey
- Add the rice to a small sauce pot with 1 3/4 cup water, bring to a boil then reduce to low and cover. Cook until all the water is absorbed then turn off heat and transfer rice to a large bowl to cool.
- While rice cooks, make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a food processor. Process for about 30 seconds until everything is well combined.
- Pour the dressing over the cooled rice, toss to fully coat and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour to chill. (*see note)
- Once cooled, add the mango, cabbage, jicama and jalapenos to the bowl and toss to combine.
- Garnish with extra cilantro and black sesame seeds if desired.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
This post is sponsored by Nakano as part of my ongoing brand ambassadorship with them. All opinions, content and photography are my own.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.