ASIAN-AMERICAN MACARONI-RICE SALAD or SHARON’S SUSHI SALAD

ASIAN-AMERICAN MACARONI-RICE SALAD or SHARON’S SUSHI SALAD

If  you want an exciting change from the same old macaroni salads, try this and experience the explosion of flavors dancing over your taste buds with every bite! Sweet, sour, salty, spicy and pungent!

Makes 12 cups

3 c. water

3 sm. vegetable bouillon cubes

1 T. white vinegar

1 t. mild curry powder

1-1/2 c. long grain white rice

2 c. dried elbow macaroni

vegetable oil

3/4 c. finely diced celery with lots of leaves

3/4 c. peeled, finely diced sweet onion

3/4 c. finely diced dill pickles

1 lg. home-grown or ripe slicing tomato; core, cut in half, squeeze out most of the seeds and liquid, then dice into 3/8 inch cubes

Dressing:

1/2 c. soy sauce

1/3 c. white vinegar

1/3 c. sugar

2 T. Dijon mustard

2 T. yellow prepared mustard

2 t. hot chili oil

2 t. powdered garlic

2 t. powdered ginger

1/2 t. liquid smoke

salt to taste

lots of freshly ground black pepper

Rinse rice several times to remove excess starch. Drain.

Place water, bouillon cubes, vinegar and curry powder in large saucepan. Bring to boil. Add rice, stir, return to boil, stir again, cover tightly, reduce heat to low and cook 15 minutes.

Transfer to large bowl to aerate. Add a couple tablespoons vegetable oil, fluff with fork or chopsticks till all rice grains separate and are coated with oil. Cool at room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Cook macaroni in lots of salted boiling water till just tender. Drain well. Place in another large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons oil; mix till coated and cool at room temperature, stirring occasionally.

When rice and macaroni cool, place both in the same large bowl. Toss.

Add vegetables and toss again. Set aside.

In separate bowl combine soy sauce, vinegar, both mustards, garlic, ginger, chili oil and liquid smoke. Stir well till thoroughly mixed.

Pour dressing over salad and toss to evenly coat.

Salt to taste, then add lots of freshly ground black pepper (medium grind). Toss again, then transfer to covered container and refrigerate till ready to serve.

Notes: Don’t use a food processor to dice your vegetables. Don’t chop them either. You want tiny, uniform cuts. That’s the Asian way. The varying textures of the rice and pasta with the crisp veggies make this salad unique.

For those of you who like green pepper, add 3/4 cup finely diced for an added dimension of flavor and texture.

We oil the rice and pasta after cooking to partially seal the grains, so that they don’t absorb all of the dressing.

If desired, serve soy sauce on the side for each guest to drizzle a little over their salad – if they want.

Yup, this is my sushi salad. That’s what I think of when I eat it.

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