This winter rice salad is a great vegetarian buffet side dish. It's also perfect as a light meal with leftover roast ham, chicken or turkey. That makes it a great buffet salad to make at Christmas or Thanksgiving.
This winter rice salad is inspired by a recipe my mum has been making for many years. It's a regular recipe whenever we have family gatherings and a buffet meal. I remember eating it as a child as well as more recently.
One of the things I love about it is the variety of textures. There's the rice with just a slight bite, the crunchiness of the dry roasted peanuts and the juiciness of the mandarin oranges. The flavours complement each other so well. The saltiness of the dry roasted peanuts alongside the sweetness of the mandarins is delicious.
My mum dresses the rice salad with mayonnaise but I've lightened it up a bit by using a mixture of mayonnaise and natural yogurt.
What ingredients are in this winter rice salad?
To make this winter rice and madarin orange salad you'll need:
- Rice - I often usee a mixture of wild and basmati rice or brown rice
- Spring onions
- Dry roasted peanuts
- Natural yogurt
- Seasoning - Black pepper and a little salt(optional). The dry roasted peanuts can be quite salty so I often miss out any extra salt.
- Tinned mandarin orange segments - I use the ones in juice, not syrup. You could also use fresh mandarins, clementines or satsumas. However, I prefer tinned ones as they are peeled and very juicy.
- Leftover roast meat - This is totally optional but we love this salad with leftover ham, chicken or turkey. This then makes it into more of a main meal salad rather than just a side.
What to eat with this mandarin orange rice salad
This tasty rice salad with mandarins and peanuts is so versatile. The great thing about it at Christmas is that it's easy to make and you can make a big batch. Then just keep getting it out of the fridge to make an easy meal with whatever leftovers you happen to have.
I love it with leftover ham, chicken or turkey. But if you're vegetarian or don't have any meaty leftovers, it's also great on it's own. I can quite happily eat a big plateful of this peanut rice salad at any meal. It also travels well and makes a tasty packed lunch.
How can you adapt this rice salad?
If you don't have any mandarins or want to adapt the recipe, it also works with pineapple instead of mandarins. Although I haven't tried it, I'm sure pomegranate seeds would be another tasty alternative. As I said earlier, you could use fresh rather than tinned mandarins but peeling the skins off can be a bit of a hassle.
I like to use dry roasted peanuts to make this salad as they are so tasty! However, if you want a less salty alternative then just dry fry some unsalted peanuts in a dry frying pan. They'll still give this salad a delicious nuttiness. You could also swap them for almonds (whole or flaked), pistachios or walnuts.
How long can you store this peanut rice salad?
This peanut and mandarin rice salad keeps well for three days in the fridge. Store it in an airtight container and make sure it has not been sitting out at room temperature for too long.
More salad recipes with grains?
If you lilke this salad then why not try one of these grain salads:
Why not check out my collection of main meal salads too?
Winter Rice Salad
- 150 g rice (I used a mixture of wild and basmati rice)
- 6 spring onions chopped
- 70 g dry roasted peanuts
- 30 g mayonnaise
- 40 g natural yoghurt
- black pepper (optional)
- 295 g tin of mandarin orange segments in juice, drained
- leftover roast chicken (optional)
- Cook the rice according to the pack instructions. When cooked, rinse under cold water and drain well. Leave to stand in the sieve for any excess water to drain off.
- Mix the rice, spring onions, peanuts, mayonnaise and yoghurt together. Add a little black pepper to taste.
- Gently stir in the mandarin segments.
- Serve on it's own or with leftover roast chicken.