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Flavorful Asian Multigrain Salad Recipe

Flavorful Asian Multigrain Salad Recipe 🌿🍤

Hey there! Welcome back to my kitchen! Today, I’m sharing a special recipe that’s close to my heart: the Flavorful Asian Multigrain Salad. This dish is inspired by a cherished childhood memory and combines a delicious mix of flavors, colors 🌈 and textures.🥗 

overhead shot of a multigrain salad plated in concentric circles, with a mustard colored napkin, which has three forks on it. there are wooden salad servers in the photo, and a plate of three small slices of watermelon. The concentric plating makes the salad very inviting because of all the colors of green cucumbers, pink watermelon, tender shrimp, and purple and black 7 grains.

Introduction

This Flavorful Asian Multigrain Salad is inspired by a childhood memory of Chinese banquets  and a recipe I discovered on Pinch of Yum for Crispy Rice Salad with Herbs and Cucumbers. As a kid from South Bend, Indiana, it was the first time I saw cold food arranged so meticulously in concentric rings. This presentation left a lasting impression on me, and I wanted to capture that special feeling with this salad. The meticulous arrangement, vibrant colors, and fresh ingredients make it a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds. 🍽️

Chinese Banquet in Shanghai China 1983. Appetizer course, showing a lazy susan with a middle dish arranged with food cut to make a tree, and bird on sand. surrounded by 8 dishes of traditional chinese appetizers.
This was a Chinese banquet that I attended in July of 1983 in Shanghai, China. This was only the cold appetizer course with cold meats and vegetables, thousand year old eggs, jellyfish and cucumbers as some of the dishes.

Research and Experimentation

Creating the perfect salad took some research and experimentation. I initially made five different salad dressings: peanut butter dressing, sesame soy dressing, sriracha dressing, honey sesame ginger miso dressing, and fish sauce vinaigrette. Each was adjusted for bitterness, spice, mildness, and overall flavor balance. My first attempt was a lychee shrimp salad, but the dressing needed more acidity, the arugula was too bitter, and the shrimp was too large. It also needed more grains for balance. And, I didn’t want all of you to have to use canned lychees, as I know they can be difficult to find fresh, and have a short season. 

Then, I found the Pinch of Yum recipe for Crispy Rice Salad with Herbs and Cucumbers. I took out the fish sauce, decreased the brown sugar, and added honey and Lao Gan Ma chili crisp. I changed up the ingredients to include watermelon and swapped the nuts to my favorite, cashews. I also added shrimp. It may seem like a lot of ingredients, but I am a proponent of layering flavors, tastes, and colors.

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Ingredients and Preparation

This salad is not only visually stunning but also packed with nutrition. Here’s what you’ll need:

Grains: A mix of brown rice, whole barley, wild glutinous rice, Thai glutinous rice, sorghum, millet, and oat. These grains are available at 99 Ranch and provide a variety of textures and nutritional benefits.

Vegetables: Crisp cucumbers, sweet watermelon, and fresh herbs like mint, cilantro, and green onions.

Proteins and Add-ins: Tender pink shrimp, chewy dried cherries, and crunchy cashews.

Dressing: A flavorful mix of miso, honey, ginger, garlic, lime juice, and a touch of chili crisp,

Salad ingredients set on a beautiful green speckled photography board. The ingredients are in glass bowls.

Nutritional Benefits of Each Grain

  • Brown Rice: High in fiber and essential minerals, supports digestion and heart health.
  • Whole Barley: Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, helps control blood sugar levels.
  • Wild Glutinous Rice: Contains antioxidants and fiber, supports digestive health.
  • Thai Glutinous Rice: Provides energy, and is easy to digest.
  • Sorghum: High in protein, iron, and antioxidants, supports heart health.
  • Millet: Rich in magnesium, promotes heart health and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Oat: High in beta-glucan, reduces cholesterol levels and supports heart health.

Including a variety of grains in your diet ensures you receive a wide range of nutrients, supporting overall health and wellbeing. 🌾💪

A mix of brown rice, whole barley, wild glutinous rice, Thai glutinous rice, sorghum, millet, and oat.
Thai Red Curry paste available at your Asian Market or on Amazon. LInk provided.
Thai Red Curry paste available at your Asian Market or on Amazon. Link in Recipe.
A jar of Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chili Crisp available at your Asian market, many American grocery stores, and on Amazon.com.
A jar of Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chili Crisp available at your Asian market, many American grocery stores, and on Amazon. Link in recipe.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Cook the Grains: Follow the instructions for each type of grain to ensure they’re perfectly cooked and tender.
  2. Prepare the Dressing: Whisk together miso, honey, ginger, garlic, lime juice, and chili crisp.
  3. Assemble the Salad: Arrange the salad ingredients in concentric rings on a large platter for a special occasion, or however you want. Add the shrimp, vegetables, dried cherries, and cashews, and herbs.
  4. Dress and Serve: Drizzle the dressing over the salad, ensuring each layer is well-coated. Garnish with fresh herbs for an extra burst of flavor and color.

Why You’ll Love This Salad

This Flavorful Asian Multigrain Salad Recipe is perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or looking for a healthy meal option, this salad will impress your guests and delight your taste buds. The combination of textures—from the crispy cucumbers to the chewy dried cherries—and the vibrant colors make every bite a unique experience. Having different colors in your food is not only visually appealing but also beneficial for your health, as it ensures a variety of nutrients. Different tastes in every bite can keep someone’s interest in this “nothing close to boring” salad. 🥗✨

PHoto of multigrain salad plated in concentric rings with cucumber, multigrains, watermelon, cashews, shrimp, dried cherries, and herbs in the middle.

Notes and FAQs

Notes:

  • Feel free to substitute the shrimp with tofu or chicken for a different protein option.
  • You can use other grains like quinoa or farro if you don’t have access to all the grains listed.
  • Red curry paste can add a spicy kick and can be found in most Asian grocery stores or online.

FAQs:

  1. Can I make this salad ahead of time?

    • Yes, you can prepare the grains and chop the vegetables in advance. Assemble the salad and add the dressing just before serving to keep it fresh and crisp.
  2. What other vegetables can I use?

    • You can add bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, or avocado to enhance the flavor and texture of the salad.
  3. Is this salad gluten-free?

    • Ensure that all grains used are certified gluten-free to make this salad suitable for a gluten-free diet.

Conclusion

I hope this Flavorful Asian Multigrain Salad Recipe brings as much joy to your table as it does to mine. It’s a tribute to the special memories of my childhood and a testament to the beauty of fresh, wholesome ingredients. Give it a try, and let me know how it turns out!

Share Your Experience

Have you tried this recipe? Share your thoughts and photos in the comments below. Don’t forget to tag your creations with #YuCanCook on social media. Happy cooking! 📸🍽️

Other Rice Cooker Dishes

overhead shot of a multigrain salad plated in concentric circles, with a mustard colored napkin, which has three forks on it. there are wooden salad servers in the photo, and a plate of three small slices of watermelon. The concentric plating makes the salad very inviting because of all the colors of green cucumbers, pink watermelon, tender shrimp, and purple and black 7 grains.
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Flavorful Herb Asian Multigrain Salad

This Flavorful Asian Multigrain Salad is a delicious mix of vibrant vegetables, tender shrimp, and a zesty dressing, all atop a nutritious 7-grain blend. Inspired by traditional Asian flavors, this salad is both healthy and delicious, perfect for any meal.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Fusion
Keyword: 7 Grain Salad, Easy Asian Salad, Flavorful Asian Multigrain Salad, Fresh Ingredients, Healthy Salad Recipe, Multigrain Salad, Nutritious Meal, Shrimp Salad, Vibrant Salad
Servings: 4

Equipment

Ingredients

Multigrain Cook

Miso Honey Ginger Dressing

  • 1 tbsp miso red (light) curry, (10g)
  • 1/2 inch knob of peeled ginger (8g)
  • 1 clove garlic ~1 tsp.
  • 6 tbsp neutral oil Canola, Avocado, Grapeseed (77g)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice 4 small limes (65g)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar light (14g)
  • 1 tbsp honey (18g)
  • 1/2 tbsp chili crisp (11g) adjust as desired

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp neutral oil Canola, Avocado, Grapeseed (13g)
  • 16 shelled and deveined shrimp (25/30 count) (260g)
  • 2 cups cooked 7 grain multigrain rice mixture
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries can use any dried fruit
  • 1 whole English Cucumber cut into 1/8" slices with mandoline (345g)
  • 4 small shallots thinly sliced(47g)
  • 1/2 cup cashews coarsely chopped (52g)
  • 2 cup watermelon cubes cut into 3/4" dice (370g)
  • 1/4 cup mint coarsely chopped (4g)
  • 1/4 cup green onion (4-5 stalks) sliced diagonally into small ovals (16g)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro coarsely chopped

Instructions

Multigrain Cook

  • Wash multi-grain rice in water 3 or 4 times to remove dust and debris and help the grains to be more separated, rather than too sticky.
  • Put rice in rice cooker pot.
  • Add chicken broth, red curry paste, and salt. Stir with rubber spatula until thoroughly combined.
  • Cook on "Sticky Multigrain Rice" setting for 44 minutes.
  • When rice is done, take it out of the rice cooker and cool for at least one hour. This step can be done the day before.
  • When rice is cool or has been in the refrigerator overnight, measure out 2 cups of cooked rice, and combine it with 2 tablespoons of miso honey ginger dressing.

Miso Honey Ginger Dressing

  • Add miso, ginger, garlic, oil, lime juice, brown sugar, honey, and chili crisp to a food processor bowl.
  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth and well combined.

Shrimp Cook

  • Cut each shrimp into thirds so they are bite-sized.
  • Marinate the shrimp in 2 tablespoons of the dressing for 15 minutes.
  • Put 1 tablespoon of oil in a fry pan and heat on medium.
  • Transfer both the marinated shrimp and any remaining dressing into the heated pan.
  • Stir-fry the shrimp until it turns opaque and is no longer translucent, about 1 minute. Be careful not to overcook it. The residual heat will continue cooking the shrimp once removed from the heat.

Salad Build

  • Add shrimp, cooked multigrain rice, dried cherries, cucumber, shallots, cashews, watermelon, mint, green onions, and cilantro to a serving bowl.
  • Toss with remaining dressing and enjoy!! Your tongue will love you for it!

Notes

  • Feel free to substitute the shrimp with tofu or chicken for a different protein option.
  • You can use other grains like quinoa or farro if you don't have access to all the grains listed.
  • Red curry paste can add a spicy kick and can be found in most Asian grocery stores or online.
  • You can prepare the grains and chop the vegetables in advance. Assemble the salad and add the dressing just before serving to keep it fresh and crisp.
  • You can add bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, or avocado to enhance the flavor and texture of the salad.
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