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When you’re asked to bring a dish: Hawaiian rice salad

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Hawaiian Rice Salad

At every BBQ I’ve ever been to, even since childhood, someone always brings a borderline weird salad. When I was little anything other than a garden or potato salad was all kinds of weird and not something I’d go near.

And then I got more adventurous and more things seemed normal. Feta was introduced, rocket, nuts in salads, and various herbs and dressings. Fruit in savoury salads has never been something I’ve explored, but as I get into my 30’s I think it’s only a matter of years/months/days.

We had a BBQ last week with family, and I decided to be the weird salad creator. I went there. I didn’t realise it though. I saw a recipe for this Hawaiian Rice Salad, checked the first 5 ingredients and decided it would be so. It was only when I was making it that I realised how out there it was. I even apologised at the dinner table, “I’m sorry. This one really might not work. It might only be for the brave.”

At that point I hadn’t tasted it. And then we all tried it and decided it was actually nice. Perhaps it’s good to venture on the weird side every now and then?

Hawaiian Rice Salad

3 cups jasmine rice
1/2 cup slivered almonds
440g can crushed pineapple in juice, drained {keep aside}
1/2 cup of that drained pineapple juice
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 medium carrots, grated
4 shallots, slice finely
2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves

♥ Cook the rice. If you’re cooking on the stove-top, follow the instructions on the packet. If you’re doing it in your trusty rice cooker or in the microwave – cook however your cooker suggests.
♥ Toast the nuts in a small, dry frying pan over medium. Cook until golden brown. Remove from the pan and cool.
♥ Combine the pineapple, pineapple juice, coconut, curry powder, brown sugar, oil and vinegar in a large bowl. Season to taste.
♥ Place the rice in a serving bowl, and add the carrot and shallots. Pour the dressing over and stir well. Add half of the nuts, and stir again.
♥ Top the salad with the remaining nuts and coriander, and serve. If you’re cooking this right before serving, you can serve it warm. I cooked it in the morning {leaving off the nuts and coriander} and pulled it out of the fridge 15 minutes before serving to bring to room temperature.

Note: This recipe is adapted from a Julie Goodwin recipe found in the December Women’s Weekly.

Hawaiian Rice Salad

When you’re asked to bring something to a dinner party or BBQ, what do you bring?

  • Maria

    That looks yum.

    I have a favourite lentil salad recipe that uses red lentils and has capers and currants in it and has a mild spice dressing with mustard and cumin. A Belinda Jeffery recipe I think.

    My parents live in an old part of Central QLD and the locals there rave about the marshmallow “salad”…marshmallows, pineapple, sour cream…some add coconut and onion…makes me cringe.

  • Lilybett

    I have a go-to rice salad, Moroccan-style, with pistachios, orange & lemon zest/juice, cumin, almonds,flat-leaf parsley, etc. I like to add in wild rice, which adds a bit of depth to the rice. Either that or I do a green salad with strawberries (a balsamic vinaigrette and this is heaven) or Stephanie Alexander’s pizza bianca, which is so yum (with rosemary rather than basil on top) and pretty easy considering you’re making bread.

  • helen

    I made a (no modesty spared) fantastic fruit salad to share with some friends before Christmas.

    Mango, raspberries, blueberries, orange and pomegranate. I also took some sliced up melon.
    No one ate the fruit salad. My partner made a comment about it, and a couple of our friends tried it, and enjoyed it. I was really disappointed. But, it did mean more for me.

  • Kay M.

    LOL, pea salad. I know, another ‘weird’ salad. It’s canned peas, mayonnaise, minced green onions, and shredded cheese. Yes, that’s it. My husbands family had never tried it until I brought it to a Thanksgiving potluck. Now, they won’t let me bring anything else!

  • swtpickles

    Another weird salad is Pork/Beans and Cottage Cheese Salad.
    1 can of pork and beans
    1 small containers of cottage cheese.
    diced red onion
    diced tomato
    1/4 c mayonnaise
    salt and pepper
    Mix all together, chill then serve.

    so good!!

  • Lauren Burke

    uh-ha! my mum used to make something similiar.. it was ok. as long as its not triffle I would try it 🙂

  • I love the weird salad at bbqs. I see it as a challenge to bring something different as well. My current favourite that involves the use of fruit as the main ingredient is a Watermelon and Feta salad.

    I cut up a quarter of a seedless watermelon into cubes (no skin of course)
    Finely slice one red onion and throw it in with the watermelon
    Roughly chop a bunch of mint and add that too
    Tear a packet of feta into chunks and put that on the top of the rest but dont stir it through until its time to serve and add plenty of cracked black pepper to it as well.
    This is worth a go and does well with spicy bbq meat.

  • Rae W

    Oooh, that looks very scrummy… Can’t wait to try it, but its chilly here in the UK so I’m saving it for when it gets a bit warmer, in fact I shall make this to take to my sister’s first BBQ of the season

  • That looks great! I will definitely be giving this a go in a couple of weeks time.

  • I love a rice salad, the only thing I did once was take my favourite rice salad to a BBQ, but it was when I was first learning to cook and I had no idea how much a cup of rice would turn in to. So I cooked up enough for about 75 people and ended up taking the biggest salad ever seen at a bbq!

  • Haha! “…a borderline weird salad” that made me laugh! When I visited my dad in NY he had a BBQ and a guest brought a salad which consisted of arugula, strawberies, goats cheese and pine nuts with balsamic dressing. I remember thinking ‘strawberries? in a salad?’ but I loved it and I still make it today. There’s always someone that hasn’t heard of that concoction and their initial thought is the same.

  • I made this for dinner tonight but I pimped it a little, I cooked up some chicken and prawns then added the rice etc… It was gorgeous, a winner, will be making this one again!! Thanks Chantelle xx

  • jeanette

    Hi I have a first birthday this weekend and have been asked to bring rice salad – this looks great – just checking in the recipe it says 3 cups of jasmine rice – is this 3 cups cooked or or 3 cups of uncooked rice for the recipe (which seems like a lot!!)

  • cindy

    I this is from awhile ago, but is it 3 cups cooked or uncooked rice?

  • Joan Bepler Payton

    Do not be afraid to make this salad … it is wonderfully delicious and tastes even better the next day. The sweetness of the pineapple evens out the zing of the hot curry I used (quite by accident). I plan to make a chicken soup with the leftovers I had.