I've gotten into the habit of keeping some sort of non-lettuce based salad in the fridge, so I have the option to make a smarter lunch or snack choices. While I do enjoy cooking, I don't feel like doing it all the time, so making a big batch of a salad like this, gets me through the lulls. The beauty of a grain salad is that you can pack it full of vegetables, even dress it, and it doesn't go soggy on you. Some days I mix my trusty grain salads in with some lettuce to bulk it up and get more greens. So handy.

The following isn't necessarily an earth shattering combination of asian flavors, but they are all things that hold up well for a few days. Wild rice does take a bit longer to cook than short grain rice, but I find the smoky, nutty flavor unique. The rice, which is actually edible grass, is packed with fiber and other vitamins and minerals. I typically reach for yellow miso, but recently picked up a jar of the white and am loving it's subtlety. You could substitute quinoa or millet or even serve the whole thing warm for dinner if that sounds more appealing. If tofu is not your thing, some shredded chicken or shrimp would be a nice alternative. Now that I've given you just about every option to alter the original, it's time for a bowl of goodness.

WILD RICE SALAD WITH MISO DRESSING // Serves 2 as an entree, 4 as a side
Inspired by the NY Times Recipes for Health

The following makes a decent portion, but if you want it to last you, I would double or triple the amounts. You could get away with less tofu, but increase the amounts of rice and vegetables to ensure leftovers.

1/2 cup wild rice (any rice works, timing will vary accordingly)

14 oz. block extra firm tofu
2 tsp. coconut oil
2 tsp. soy sauce or tamari
fresh ground pepper

1 heaping cup thinly sliced carrots
3/4 cup cooked, shelled, organic edamame
3 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
Handful of Chopped Cilantro or Pea Sprouts

// Miso Dressing //

2 Tbsp. white miso
2 Tbsp. agave nectar or brown rice syrup
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 1/2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 shallot, minced
Juice of half an Orange

Rinse the wild rice. Bring two cups water to a boil. Add the rice, turn the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed (about 35-40 minutes), adding a bit more water if necessary to finish cooking. You will see a tuft of white pop from the center.
Wrap the tofu between a few layers of paper towel or a dish cloth and set it aside to drain for 10-15 minutes. Cut it into a 1/2'' dice. Heat the coconut oil over medium high heat (I love the crust I get in a seasoned cast iron pan). Add the tofu and saute for about five minutes. Sprinkle the soy sauce and a few grinds of fresh pepper over the top and saute another few minutes until the edges are browned. Turn off heat and set aside.
Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together (Don't be tempted to add salt, miso is pretty salty).
In a large bowl, combine the rice, tofu, sliced carrots, edamame. Toss everything with the dressing. Add the sesame seeds and cilantro and give it another toss. Serve room temperature or chilled.

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Reader Comments (82)

This looks fabulous. Can't wait to try~

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoy

Looks absolutely delicious. Love the combination of carrot, tofu and wild rice. Three of my favourite foods, but have ever tried them all together - looks like a must.

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSkye (Skye Loves...)

Looks great! Could you tell us more about edamame?
thx for this inspiration :)

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEric

[...] This was pretty much perfection. Salty, sweet, filling, nutritious. I’ve been gobbling this up the last few days and I think I might need to make another batch this weekend for my dad to try! [...]

Wow, I know what I'm having for lunch next week!


January 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmily (Edible Psychology)

Looks fantastic and hearty, just the thing for lunch!

January 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Cozy Herbivore

An agreement with all of your wonderful comments already posted, a superb salad full of fresh flavor and a nice array of textures. Thank you for the inspiration!

January 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristina Lockwood

Made this tonight for dinner. Everyone in the family loved it. Thanks for such a delicious recipe, what a treat that we have leftovers for tomorrow!

January 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGretchen

I tried this recipe tonight, and it looks delicious and tastes even better! Thanks for a great recipe. I look forward to trying more as you post them.

February 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWade

Wow, this looks fantastic! I can't wait to try making this!

February 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen @ keepitsimplefoods

Gorgeous! This salad looks amazing, I'm going to try it ASAP!

Yum! Must make this salad soon.

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKika@embracingimperfection

[...] (minimally) from Sprouted Kitchen. Serves 3 as a [...]

Made this salad the other night. Our taste buds and stomachs are sending many thanks!! :) Glad to see the site up and running again! I was like "ooooh nooo! come back sara!!!"

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYumi

I made this a few days ago and it was just fabulous. The colours are amazing, thanks for sharing. Your blog is inspirational, I love following your kitchen adventures.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

Love, love, love this salad. I made this yesterday and it is a hit with everyone in my household including me!! My husband (who I would consider hard to please when it comes to salads anyways) says this salad needs to be a staple at our house. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!!!

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnita

I've been trying to keep non-lettuce-based salads on hand as well--they feel more like a meal, and somehow feel more right in the middle of winter. You may say it's not an earth-shattering combination of Asian ingredients, but for me it would be something new and it looks worth it!

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Oh my! I was not even hungry until I saw this photo and now--instant craving! I MUST try this soon. I love everything in it though I have not cooked much with wild rice. I just found your blog thru a pin on pinterest and I am going to pin this recipe to make all my friends there hungry as I am :-) Incredible recipes here! Thank you for inspiring us!

February 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

i made this tonight, and it was delicious--- love the dressing! looking forward to a little bit of leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

February 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersteph (whisk/spoon)

This dish turned out great! The recipe looked promising so I went ahead and doubled it so I would have plenty of meals to bring to work for me and my sister. I sauteed the carrots with tofu for just a minute to take off the raw edge but still had a nice crunch. I was pleasantly surprised how good this still tasted on day 4.

February 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersteph

Has anyone tried this miso dressing on quinoa??

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTeresa

I swapped Meyer lemon for the orange and used both pea shoots and cilantro. It was subtly flavoured but quite addictive. Thanks for sharing!

I absolutely love this recipe. I have modified it to my own liking - here is the link to my recipe with pictures

May 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercucee

This looks amazing! Do you have nutritional info for it? (fat, carbs, fiber, protein)?

May 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjami

This looks so good!
I guess the dressing is basically half of the dish since it brings a lot of flavors to it.. but does anyone know a good substitute for this dressing? I can only find hald of the ingredients :S

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandra

I just found your blog and this is the first thing I have made. I was wonderful! Thank you! I am your new biggest fan. =)

August 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

What's the difference between white miso and "regular" miso? I went to whole foods and they were out of the white one, so I bought the regular. Not sure if it'd change the flavor. This looks AMAZING! Can't wait to make it.

December 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIndia

Thank you for this little gem. I made this salad for a surprise party and it was such a hit, everyone wanted the recipe and asked me to make it again for the family Christmas party. That said, I really enjoy your site and am looking forward to ordering your book!

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMia

WOW! this was YUUUUMMMMIIIIIi : D I had to use buckwheat noodles instead of wild rice and I added some shredded toasted nori on top. So crazy yummy I licked my plate :P Thank you!

May 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

What else can you serve this with? Serve this as the main dish, and then what? I am having major trouble deciding on sides to make for upcoming weeks dinner!! S.O.S. Thank you :-)

May 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShauna Rose

@Shauna Rose - depends if everything needs to be vegetarian? If not, I'd leave it as a side to some grilled protein and the veg people can make a meal of it. Another Asian type slaw would be nice, something more green based.

May 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterSara

I made this for a picnic and added rotated sweet potatoes and dried cranberries and it was a huge hit! Everyone, even the die hard meat eaters loved it and the whole thing vanished before anyone else's dishes.

My husband continuously asks for it again. Great recipe, thanks!

June 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterashley

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