Sri Wasano’s infamous rice salad

6 Aug

Sri Wasano's rice salad

Sri Wasano’s infamous rice salad featured regularly in my veggie years, when the Moosewood Cookbook was my go-to source of inspiration. The recipe sounded impressive, looked exotic, and tasted great.

I’ve always wondered who Sri Wasano was and whether the salad has any connection whatsoever to Indonesia. A two-minute web search uncovered an interview with author Molly Katzen. She revealed that the recipe was a version of a version of a dish someone she knew once ate in an Indonesian restaurant in the Netherlands – and that it had nothing whatsoever to do with anyone called Sri Wasano.

While the list of ingredients seems long, the salad comes together quickly, the dressing is sensational, and the texture contrast between the chewy rice, juicy pineapple, and crisp vegetables is interesting (in a good way). If you’re concerned about eating raw beansprouts, blanch them in boiling water for a minute or so, then drain and refresh under cold water before adding to the salad.

Sri Wasano’s infamous rice salad
(serves 4-6)

  • 2 cups short grain brown rice
  • 1/3 cup peanut oil
  • 3 Tb sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp ground red pepper
  • 2 Tb soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tb honey
  • 2 Tb rice vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped finely
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 cup red or green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water chestnuts, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup mange tout, sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cashews, chopped
  • 2 Tb sesame seeds
  1. Cook the brown rice in four cups of water until tender.
  2. While the rice is cooking, in a large bowl whisk together the peanut oil, sesame oil, orange juice, garlic, ground red pepper, soy sauce, salt, honey, rice vinegar to make the dressing. Add the chopped pineapple and raisins, then set aside.
  3. Add the hot, cooked rice to the bowl of dressing and toss well.
  4. Allow the rice to cool a bit, then add in the green onion, celery, bean sprouts, chopped pepper, water chestnuts and mange tout, tossing to combine.
  5. Just before serving, stir the nuts and sesame seeds through the salad, or scatter on top.

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