Do you remember the Empire Rice Salad that I made for my Diamond Jubilee Big Lunch Party? Well, I took that recipe, gave it a few tweaks and created my Tropical Island Rice dish that I served at my sister’s Cocktails & Dreams Hen Party. It was so fruity and flavourful, and went surprisingly well with my Hawaiian Pulled Pork.
It’s a really colourful, fresh and fruity salad, with lots of different textures! My best friend who really isn’t into trying new things said how tasty it was, so I’m pretty sure I did good!
Quite a few ingredients are needed, and I added a couple more after I took this photo! You’ll need packets of long grain and wild rice mix (I use Uncle Bens Express), canned sweetcorn, canned pineapple pieces, macadamia nuts, pistachio nuts, almonds, bell peppers, fresh mango, pomegranate, spring onion, red chilli, pineapple juice, light soy sauce and rice vinegar.
This rice salad can be made a day in advance – it gives a chance for the dressing to really get in and mingle with all the ingredients. Start by cooking the rice according to the package instructions – or if you are cooking from dry – follow the steps! Leave to cool by spreading out on a baking sheet – gets the job done quicker and it’s how they cool down sushi rice ;) Once cooled, fluff up the rice with a fork and place in the fridge for about an hour.
Meanwhile, chop the mango and bell peppers into small bite size pieces. Remove the seeds from the pomegranate (or buy packs already done for you!), finely slice the chilli and spring onion. Open the tinned sweetcorn and drain. Open the tinned pineapple and keep the juice for the dressing. If you need to cut the pineapple chunks down a bit, then do so – luckily the pieces in the tin I bought were pretty small. And finally, chop up the nuts.
If you are a regular reader of The Purple Pumpkin Blog you’ll know that when I’m making salads I like to mix everything up in stages rather than putting everything in at once – I feel like I get a nicer, even distribution – but do what you wanna do when it comes to this dish’s assembly!
With the rice all chilled, it’s time to add all the prepared ingredients – I started with the fruit…first the mango pieces and pomegranate seeds…give it a mix! Then the pineapple…stir in.
The veggies were next, so in with the bell peppers (I used yellow and red ones, but use whatever you prefer), spring onions, sweetcorn and chilli.
With the fruits, vegetables and rice all mixed together, the nuts went in and got stirred through.
With the Tropical Island Rice all prepared, I knocked up a Asian inspired pineapple juice/soy sauce/rice vinegar/peanut oil dressing. I used up the juice from the pineapple and added more from a carton.
I whisked all the ingredients together and poured most of it over the salad and gave a good stir. I then popped the salad back in the fridge for all the flavours to marry up. I actually made this dish the day before the party. I’m sure it added to the flavour :)
About half hour before serving, I took out of the fridge to bring to room temperature and stirred in the final glug of dressing to spruce the rice up.
A great side dish or meal in itself. I’ll be making this one again! Enjoy!
- 4 x 250g packs microwave long grain & wild rice (I use Uncle Bens Express)
- 1 x 540g can pineapple pieces in juice (approx 340g when drained)
- 1 x 325g can sweetcorn
- 1 large ripe mango (peeled, stoned and cut into small bite size pieces)
- 1 pomegranate (seeds removed)
- 2 bell peppers (red, yellow or orange, deseeded and cut into small bite size pieces)
- 8 spring onions (finely chopped)
- 1 large red chilli (finely sliced)
- 50g macadamia nuts (chopped)
- 50g pistachio nuts (chopped)
- 50g blanched almonds (chopped)
For the dressing
- 90ml peanut oil
- 90ml light soy sauce
- 350ml pineapple juice (use from the canned pineapple and top up with carton juice)
- 2 tbsp white rice vinegar
- Cook the rice according to the package instructions. Leave to cool. Once cool, fluff up with a fork and refrigerate for about an hour.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the cold rice and mix well.
- Make up the dressing by whisking the ingredients together.
- Pour most of the dressing over the salad and stir through, reserving some to add just before serving.
- Refrigerate the Tropical Island Rice until needed. Take out about half an hour before serving to bring to room temperature and stir through the remaining dressing.