Japanese-Inspired Brown Rice Lunch Salad

brown rice salad 2

I got the idea for this on a great blog called The Muffin Myth, where it was titled ‘Brown Rice Sushi Bowl’ – I made a few changes to my version, but I’d recommend having a look at the original here, as it looks amazing!

For my brown rice bowl, I couldn’t use brown sushi rice as I don’t have any and have no idea where I would get it.  Besides, one reason I made it was to try and use up the long grain brown rice I have in, which never gets used because Dave doesn’t like it.  So I just used that.  I also use vegetables I had and liked (I hate avocado with a passion) and with a view to keeping the lunch affordable.  And instead of making an orange miso dressing, I skipped the orange and added extra honey.  Oh, I used sushi rice seasoning to make the dressing because I had no rice vinegar left, but it’s just seasoned rice vinegar so either would do.

You can vary the veg to anything you like raw or even add some steamed veg – I just used what I had in and finely sliced the carrots and radishes in my mandoline.

It was such a delicious lunch – I won’t be making it every day because a) it’s a good bit more expensive that my usual soup and b) I do like a hot lunch at work most days.  But as a treat it was delicious and I felt so healthy!  The only thing I’d change was it’s a bit low in protein – it actually kept me full most of the afternoon (I had a nectarine later on but managed to resist the office cake so can’t have been too hungry!) but it might be nice to add a few cashews or even something like cooked tofu to it (I never cook tofu so not sure what i’d do with it, a bit of experimentation required maybe!).

It would also be delicious for dinner, but I’d definitely add some kind of protein and up the rice a bit to make a bigger portion.

brown rice salad header

Serves one

  • 3 heaped tablespoons brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon sushi rice seasoning
  • 1 carrot, finely sliced (in a mandoline if you have one)*
  • 3 radishes, finely sliced (in a mandoline if you have one)*
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced on the diagonal
  • small handful fresh spinach*
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 tbsp miso paste
  • 1/2 tbsp sushi rice seasoning/rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp honey (or use less to taste – I wanted it to be quite sweet)

Cook the brown rice to packet directions until tender, then drain and rinse under cold water to quickly cool.  Let sit for a few minutes to dry off and then mix through the sushi rice seasoning.

Put a handful of spinach leaves in one corner of your lunch tub/bowl and pack the rice, carrot and radish in around it.  Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and spring onion.

Mix up the dressing (I have really small ‘clip-top’ tupperwares so used one to mix it and take it to work separately – you can use a small jar too, but in my experience they do leak in your bag so wrap it in a plastic bag and try to transport it upright).

Taste the dressing and adjust to suit.  Serve the salad with the dressing drizzled over the top.

*Please feel free to vary the veg and use whatever you think will taste good/you happen to have in.  I think red pepper and cucumber would be great myself.  If I’d had some pickled ginger left I’d have totally added some in, too.


8 thoughts on “Japanese-Inspired Brown Rice Lunch Salad

  1. An Ng.

    This looks great! I’m always looking for recipes for lunch that I can take with me to school, and this salad is definitely up my alley.

    1. Jess Post author

      Hope he enjoys it as much as I did! It’s especially great when out and about because its so portable & doesn’t need reheated.

  2. Pingback: Szechuan-style noodles with crumbled tofu and vegetables | Chilli, Sage and Lemon

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