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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?