At the risk of looking like I have an Ottolenghi obsession, today’s recipe is another from his collection. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I keep finding Asian-inspired gems by him. Perhaps they’ve always been out there and I’ve never looked properly before, but I do get the distinct impression that he knows I’m out here in Singapore, preserved lemon and harissa-less, in need of Asian recipe inspiration…
Now whilst I’m pretty sure Mango & Coconut Rice Salad is not an altogether authentically Asian dish, the ingredients are all widely available out here. Hurrah! It’s a wonderfully fresh salad, full of Asian flavours that either makes a delicious lunch or dinner on its own, or a great accompaniment to all sorts of fish, chicken, prawns, calamari… you get the idea.
As with most Ottolenghi recipes, the ingredients list is not short, but luckily the method is delightfully easy. And that includes the rice cooking part. You will I am sure, be very excited to hear that, under Yotam’s fine tutelage, I have finally mastered the art of rice cooking…well, once does not an expert make, but it’s a good start! I shan’t have to resort to buying a rice cooker after all! These batches of basmati and red rice turned out a treat – fluffy, light grains that were completely ready for their salad debut.
Instead of flaked coconut I used desiccated coconut as that’s what I had to hand. I would, however, recommend finding some flaked coconut if you can as the desiccated version needs more oil and lemon juice to prevent it being too dry.
Desiccated coconut aside, all in all this is a fantastically colourful and flavourful salad that makes a wonderful centrepiece for a meal.
Yotam Ottogenghi’s Mango & Coconut Rice Salad
Serves 4 as a main or 6-8 as a side
100g jasmine (or basmati) rice
1 tsp unsalted butter
20g Thai basil
150g Camargue red rice
1 red pepper, cored and thinly sliced
10g mint leaves, roughly chopped
10g coriander leaves roughly chopped
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Grated zest of 1 lemon, and possibly some of the juice
1 large mango or 2 smaller ones, cut roughly into 2cm dice
60g roasted salted peanuts, broken roughly
50g flaked coconut
2 tbsp groundnut oil
25g deep-fried sliced shallots, homemade or bought in (optional)
1. Put the jasmine rice and butter in a small saucepan and place over a medium heat. Add a biggish pinch of salt, the water and half the Thai basil (keep the leaves attached to the stem), and bring to a boil. Cover and cook at a slow simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove and discard the basil, then spread the rice on a tray to cool down.
2. Boil the red rice in plenty of water (as you would cook pasta but with no salt) and simmer for 20 minutes, until cooked through. Drain and spread on a tray to cool down.
3. Pick the remaining basil leaves and roughly chop them up. Put in a large bowl, add all the remaining ingredients other than the shallots, and mix – do not stir too much or the mango will disintegrate. Taste and adjust the seasoning – you may want to add lemon juice, depending on your taste and the acidity of the mango. Transfer the salad into serving bowls and garnish with deep-fried shallots, if you like.