Year Round Rice Salads and Vegetables

Japanese rice & pickles


These three side dishes – Japanese rice, a salad and a pickle – could be combined to make a light meal, or alternatively you could serve them with either the salmon teriyaki or the glazed miso aubergine.  They are great examples of how rice vinegar and soy sauce can completely change the experience of commonplace ingredients.

This recipe originally appeared in the October edition of House & Garden magazine.  Photograph courtesy of Nassima Rothaker.


For the rice

  • 300g Japanese short-grain rice

For the dressing

  • 1tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1tbsp soy sauce
  • 1tbsp toasted sesame oil

For the pickle

  •  1 cucumber, peeled, halved and seeds scraped out
  •  2tbsp soy sauce
  •  2 tbsp rice vinegar
  •  1-2tsp sugar or agave
  •  3cm knob ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks



Cooked simply, Japanese short-grain rice makes a good side dish or even the main part of a meal, sprinkled with sesame seeds or furikake seasoning and flavoured with soy sauce or rice vinegar.

  • Wash the rice in several changes of water until the water is no longer cloudy. Drain well.
  • Put the rice in a medium saucepan and add 360 ml water (or 360 g – I find it easier to weigh it than to use a measuring jug).
  • Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook, covered, for 12 minutes until the water has been absorbed. Each grain should be plump and soft but retain its shape.
  • Leave covered for 10 minutes before serving.


I use this to dress soaked seaweed or peppery leaves such as mizuna or rocket. It makes a great refreshing side dish for a Japanese meal.

  • Simply stir all the ingredients together and pour over the salad just before serving.


This is a tangy accompaniment to serve with teriyaki salmon or any of the vegetable dishes. You could even just eat it with some rice for a light meal.

  • Slice the cucumber halves and toss the slices with a large pinch of salt.
  • Mix together the other ingredients and add the cucumber.
  • Leave to marinate for half an hour before serving


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