Make it Naked

Black Rice and Mango Salad

As soon as I started making this recipe, I scratched it off the blogable list. I couldn’t post this. Everything that could go wrong did. Well…actually, I didn’t burn the rice. Although it’s black in nature so who really knows. I’ve done that

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before. Like forgot I was cooking, ruined the pot, burned the rice. Regardless, I was grumpy about this recipe…until I tasted it. I thought this would be simple. I thought I had everything I needed. I thought I could throw together a quick rice salad in no time. I was so very wrong. I didn’t have fish sauce. I used tamari instead. One

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of my mangos was rotten. My cilantro was bad but I was able to salvage some of it. My scallions, old and slimy. The recipe called for 6. I was left with 3 that were edible. I toasted the cashews.

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And by toasted I mean blackened. Luckily, I had enough cashews to try again. And the onion…I can’t chop an onion to save my life. I don’t know why, but I can’t. It’s never uniform. My pieces are always too big and somehow I end up with pieces of onion shooting out everywhere. Once I was watching MasterChef and there was a challenge where the contestants had to uniformly chop onions to fill a container. That is my nightmare challenge. Here’s how Gordon Ramsey says you should do it. Yeah…that just doesn’t work for me. Ever. But then, even after everything seemed to go awry, this dish was more than just ok. It was incredible. And so here’s the part where I tell you it’s ok to mess up. It’s ok if it’s not perfect. Just get in the kitchen and try because in the end you’ll make something you’re proud of. Big, chunky, ununiform (it’s a word) onions and all. Black Rice and Mango Salad (adapted from BonAppetit) Ingredients: 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice Juice from 3 limes 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1/2 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce) 1 2/3 cups black rice, uncooked Kosher salt, to taste (I used about a 1/2 a teaspoon) 1-2 mangos, peeled and diced 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 3/4 cup red onion, chopped 1/2 cup raw cashews, chopped and toasted 3 scallions, chopped 2 jalapeños, seeded and minced Directions:

  1. In a small bowl whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, olive oil and tamari. Set dressing aside.
  2. Bring rice and 2 1/3 cups of water to boil. Cover, reduce heat and let simmer until water is absorbed and rice is tender but not mushy. This took about 20 minutes for me. Remove heat and let cool. Season with salt.
  3. While rice is cooking, soak chopped onions in ice water. This makes them much more enjoyable and less pungent. Strain after about 10 minutes of soaking.
  4. Once cooled, combine the rice, dressing, mango, cilantro, onion, cashews, scallions and jalapeños. Season with more salt if desired. Enjoy!


  1. I don’t think you can mess up this recipe. It’s very forgiving. Just use what you have.
  2. Fall is here! It’s October and I don’t have my sparkle pumpkins out! WTH?! Fall recipes coming soon! I spent a ridiculous number of hours today sorting them out.
  3. That link up there in Note #2…that happens to be one of my favorite posts of all time. You should probably make those asap.

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Posted on September 30, 2012

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