Get in My Belly: Black Bean Rice Salad with Mango

A good rice salad recipe can be eaten at any temperature, and having tried this black bean, mango, peanut and wild rice combination, I know I will happily make it again.

The original recipe I stumbled across comes from Relish Magazine, a decent food publication that appears monthly in my paper. Most recipes I’ve tried from their pages and site have turned out well, and though I made some modifications to this one, I still think the original would be good as-is. For one thing, it calls for black rice (aka “forbidden” rice, which I have to say all dramatic, like. FORBIDDEN!), and while I have cooked with it before, I didn’t have any this time. Instead, I substituted a brown/wild rice mix and it worked well. Let’s get to the specifics, shall we?

A plate filled with Black Bean Rice Salad with Mangoes and Peanuts
(photo by Tyson Habein)
  • 2 tangelos (or any orange-like fruit you want to use)
  • ¼ cup lime juice (about 2 limes worth, if you’re using fresh)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 cups dry wild rice mix
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted, and diced (OR you can do like I did and haphazardly break the mangoes into chunks and wonder why you don’t own one of those fancy mango slicer things.)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup sweet onion, chopped
  • ½ cup unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Anaheim peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 (15 ounce can) black beans, drained

To Make:

  1. Bring rice and 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Season lightly with salt. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let stand. You can either keep the rice covered while you do everything else to keep it slightly warm, or you can spread the rice out on a baking sheet to speed up the cooling process.
  2. Remove peel from tangelos and break into segments. Squeeze segments and strain juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl OR if you have a juicer, use that.
  3. Add lime juice, oil, and fish sauce to the bowl with the orange juice (if you’d like to make this salad vegetarian, just use ½ tablespoon more olive oil and leave out the fish sauce). Stir with a fork or whisk to blend.
  4. Place mangoes and the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Toss gently to combine. Season lightly with salt and more lime juice, if needed.

Even my kids (who aren’t crazy about raw onions and Anaheim peppers) and my mom (who isn’t crazy about rice that is anything less than piping hot) loved this. The mister and I enjoyed it both warm the night I first made it, and as cold leftovers the next day. This recipe made enough for 3 adults, 2 reasonably hungry kids, and enough for two servings of leftovers. Adjust as necessary. And enjoy!

By Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

6 replies on “Get in My Belly: Black Bean Rice Salad with Mango”

Why is black rice forbidden? /curious

This looks greaaaat and if I was not so anti-going-outside at the moment I would be running out to buy a mango right now. How important is the fish sauce, you think? I’m pretty strict vegetarian, and wonder about substitutions for fish sauce.

I bet Sara’s right– you could use a touch of something salty and a different acid than the citrus to approximate (like some tamari/soy sauce plus a little rice vinegar?), or just skip altogether. We’re sometimes out of fish sauce, and recipes tastes alllmost the same/sometimes better without it.

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