Red Rice Salad Recipe

Indonesian red rice salad with boiled eggs and macadamias. Riveting to look at, with a wonderfully complex array of flavors and textures to enjoy.

Red Rice Salad

There is an entire world beyond white rice and I promise it's worth exploring. This is not to say that my knees don't go weak each time I inhale the beautifully fragrant tendrils of steam coming off a fresh pot of white jasmine rice, it just means that I'm also delighted time and time again as I explore the many (often) colorful, whole grain rices that are now readily available in markets across the country. Many are heirloom varietals, nutritionally superior to refined white grains, and each has its own distinct taste, texture, shape, and color. I was excited to come across a cookbook the other day that was putting some of these rices to use in approachable, interesting, and delicious ways. Robin Asbell's New Whole Grains Cookbook is brimming with beautifully photographed rice, quinoa, buckwheat, and millet preparations - this red rice salad made for a hearty and satisfying lunch last week. The full title hints at a few of the components at play - Indonesian Red Rice Salad with Boiled Eggs and Macadamias. The end result, a rice salad that is riveting to look at, with a wonderfully complex array of flavors and textures to enjoy.

I encourage you to give it a go, but be forewarned, this is one of those recipes where you get to bone up on your knife skills. There is chopping involved, plenty of it, so save it for a leisurely night when you aren't in a rush to get dinner on the table. The good news, it makes a big batch, it keeps well for a few days, it makes a great picnic salad, and you can do much of the prep ahead of time if needed. And it's good warm or cold.

The rest of New Whole Grains is just as inspiring. Robin uses farro in focaccia, buckwheat in a double dark chocolate pudding, bulgur for breakfast, and brown rice in risotto ball with a creamy spinach sauce - all sounds pretty good, no?

For those of you who are regular readers, you know this is a book after my own heart ;) Hope you will enjoy cooking through it as much as I suspect I will.

Other favorite rice recipes:
- Purple Jasmine Coconut Rice Recipe
- Ten Minute Tasty Asparagus and Brown Rice Recipe

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Red Rice Salad with Boiled Eggs and Macadamias

Original headnote by Robin Asbell: Indonesian cuisine is a riot of flavors, with rice. I like the sweetness of one of the red rices here, but any brown rice will also be delicious. Himalayan red rice takes less water, so use the smaller measure if using it, while the other red rices need more liquid.

Heidi's headnote: If you are looking to the photo for visual guidance, you'll notice I didn't saute the hardboiled eggs as called for in the recipe. Why? Because it really killed the eye appeal. But they sure do taste good either way. This time around I used Alter-Eco's Ruby Rice - it is from Eastern Thailand, fair trade, grown sustainably, and has earthy undertones and nice separation between grains.

1 3/4 cups to 2 cups water
1 cup red rice
2 tablespoons oil
4 large shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large red chile, seeded and chopped
1-inch piece ginger root, chopped (hs note: I grated it)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
8 ounces green beans, trimmed and chopped
1/2 cup coconut milk (hs note: lite is fine)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon molasses
4 large eggs, boiled and peeled
1 large lime, quartered
1/2 cup julienned fresh basil
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, toasted and chopped

In a 1-quart saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, bring the water to a boil. Rinse the rice and drain in a fine-mesh strainer. Add the drained rice to the boiling water and keep the heat high until it returns to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 45 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Let the pot stand, covered, for at least 10 minutes, and then let cool to room temperature. (HS note: or you can start with about 2 1/2 cups precooked rice.)

In a wok or large sauté pan, heat the oil over high heat. Add the shallots, garlic, chile, ginger, coriander, carrot, and green beans. Stir-fry until the vegetables are crisp-tender.

Add the coconut milk, soy sauce, and molasses to the wok, and bring to a boil. Push the vegetables over to one side to make room for the eggs. Halve the boiled eggs lengthwise, and place in the pan, cut sides down. Simmer for 2 minutes. In a large bowl, mix the contents of the pan with the rice. Add the basil and macadamias, then toss and serve with a squeeze of lime.

Serves 8.

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a perfect yolk. thanks heidi.


This looks delicious and I have some red rice that my daughter brought back from the Westside Market when she was in Cleveland!

Deborah Dowd

Looks very beautiful. I will have to try it out. I've actually never had red rice and us Cubans love our rice. Thanks.


Hi everyone, Thanks for the great comments and good questions...I'm actually travelling right now (more on that soon) with spotty internet access. I'll try to get back to some of these questions soon. -h


Wow! Great recipe...wonderful ideas. Thanks for sharing...di

Pleated Shades

My roommate and I just made this for dinner–amazing. I'm sure it helped that we were both famished, but when I tossed in the basil, the aroma was out of control. I made my roommate stop doing dishes so that she could smell it. This was the first recipe I've made from Heidi's site... what an auspicious beginning!


Ah, rice! I love the red rice from Bali. It is extraordinary. Bali was the first country where I was introduced to a whole range of rices, each with different and wonderful textures and flavours. And cooking methods. Then India - India has many thousands of rice varieties. The risk of extinction of many is very real as Western ideas and tastes infiltrate the country. So the government has set up an initiative to store each rice variety so that they remain viable for future generations. How cool! Red Rice is hard to find where I am, but not impossible. Must go out and look today.


Longtime reader and fan, first-time commenter. Made this for dinner last night (only my thirdd home-cooked meal in my new San Francisco apartment) with cute small eggs from last weekend's farmer's market. Let's just say I'm looking forward to my lunch break, that's for sure. Back to work!


I'm making this for lunch tomorrow, and prepped the veggies ahead of time. Wow, what a nice smell they all make together in the fridge. Can't wait to taste it! Heidi, when can you repost the online Otsu recipe? It was slightly different from the book, me thinks... P.S. I just named my new baby Heidi. I'm not a crazy stalker, or anything, but (you know how when you're picking a name for your baby you have to consider all the people you know of who share your candidate names) your name came up in support. If you're ever in Santa Cruz, maybe you can meet her...


Is that an 8 minute hardboiled egg? It looks perfect, and my mouth is watering just looking at is creamy yolk.


Wow! I've been curious about what you use red rice for! That salad looks great. I wrote a post about red rice recently wondering how it stacks up to brown rice nutrition-wise.


Hi Flutter...You asked if it was ok to leave the molasses out. I am also not found of molasses and found a great substitute, it's called Wax Orchards Grape Sweet. It's got the dark color of molasses and works the same without the molasses taste. It's made of concentrated white grape juice. So if you can find it, try that substitute. Bina


That is a beautiful dish...the egg really pops on that bed of rice!


I can never seem to find a very flavorful rice dish. This one looks great and I cannot wait to add it to our menu!

Tea Pot

Thanks for this posting. Just what I needed to do justice to the bag of Himalayan Red Rice that has been taunting me each time I open the cupboard door! Yelling, "cook me, cook me, cook me". I plan to substitute edamame for the eggs.


I bought a bag of red rice for the first time last year and it sat in my pantry because I wasn't exactly sure how to cook it (it didn't have any instructions on the bag). I searched everywhere on the internet trying to get some info on red rice but didn't have much luck. I eventually decided I would just boil it until tender rather than trying to guess the exact amount of water and cooking time and when I went to rinse it, I realized the bag was filled with tiny bugs. Needless to say, I never got to try the red rice! I think I'll go search for it again though now that I have some cooking instructions. Thanks for the great recipe!


Heidi, I picked up some Alter-Eco Ruby Rice last week at our local co-op - it added a nice twist to my take on red beans and rice. I have about a cup left and I'll have to try this recipe out. I have to admit though that I've never thought of sauteing hardboiled eggs and I am a little wary of it .


Your photography is so incredibly inspiring. Keep at it!

S. from The Student Stomach

This is perfect timing! I just picked up a bag of red rice from out local Asian market and I had no idea what to do with it. I had never seen or heard of it before. This recipe looks great.


I completely agree, every time I walk into New York's Kalustyans, I'm completely captivated by the range of rices. Even though I very rarely cook rice at home, I'm always drawn to buy some. Our absolute favorite is "forbidden rice," a kind of black rice which has the whole bran and is high in nutrients as well as delicious in a carrot-scallion pilaf!


anne: Keep your ginger in the freezer. When you grate it frozen it's a breeze, and there are no residual fibers. Peeling is easier too.


@anne try using a microplane rather than a standard cheese grater.


I agree - sometimes you need to shake things up a bit to appreciate the goodness of all your options. In Korea we used to eat different types of rice all the time, some times it was purple! B


Just the sort of lunch recipe I'm looking for! Thank you.

Mrs Redboots

Heidi, I notice you said you grated the ginger instead of chopping it... I have the most terrible time grating ginger. I usually end up with a puddle of ginger juice and a hunk of fibery ginger strands that I can't drag across the grater anymore for fear of grating my fingers. Do you have any tricks or hints?


This recipe sounds absolutely delicious, and I cannot wait to try it! I've never seen red rice at my local store. Do you know of a source where I can buy online?


There was a rice seller in Cork, Ireland, when we lived there that introduced me to red rice. Once I figured out how long it needed to cook I really liked it.... Very nutty tasting. I haven't seen it in the markets here yet, but, then I am in the backwaters.... Salad sounds wonderful!


Heidi, What a coincidence! I was just looking at Robin Asbell's New Whole Grains Cookbook yesterday. I'm glad to hear your thoughts on it. Guess I'll have to pick me up a copy. Also, does the fact that you're using Alter-Eco's rice from Thailand mean that you're not on the 'eat local' bandwagon?


It's very interesting, I have never tried red rice.. I will look for it next time I shop. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Margot

Coffee & Vanilla

It's very interesting, I have never tried red rice.. I will look for it next time I shop. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Margot

Coffee & Vanilla

I haven't seen a rice salad in AGES. Yours looks great. Nice egg too. I'll be doing this one.


My husband the herbivore would love this. I've finally got him to start eating locally grown, cage free eggs.

Pieds Des Anges (Kyla)

H, do you think it would be ok to leave the molasses out?


Wow...just reading this recipe makes me feel healthy...I can't wait to try it! Thanks.

Dani Spies

Whoa, this is a seriously gorgeous salad--and sounds delicious as well It's definitely on my "to try" list--thanks!


I have some red rice in my pantry that I picked up on a whim (it was too pretty to leave in the store) a while back. I had been wondering what to do with it. This gives me some ideas. Thanks.


Heidi, I'm a longtime lurker who is briefly coming out of the woodwork to tell you: I bought Super Natural Cooking yesterday. I don't think I've been this excited about a cookbook--ever! I can't wait to start trying recipes. Thank you so much for such a gorgeous contribution to the cookbook world.


This looks delicious. I always have coconut milk in my cupboard that I don't know what to do with! I can't wait to try this out.


That looks really good. We have a variety of red rice in India called rosematta rice but have never attempted to put it in a salad. That would be a nice twist.


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