Three-rice and chicken salad, from Ottolenghi’s cookbook

April 19, 2010  •  Category:


I have a brother in San Fransisco, another brother in Singapore and my parents live in Beirut; we are used to being very far apart from each other, but when something important strikes, we are quick to connect; well,  it happened this weekend when my brother Jean, who lives in Singapore, got my attention by telling me I had  to try this salad! Jean was wrapping up a visit to Japan and he had it in a restaurant there; he liked it so much he managed to retrieve the recipe.

My brother is a gourmet cook, who used to make us venison stew, risottos and fig tarts. When we lived in France, he would  go to the outdoor marché and finger-pinch the geese at the market stalls to see if they were  meaty enough, under the incredulous look of the French butcher.

The recipe is from the Ottolenghi’s cookbook and from a  Japanese blog  that made Ottolenghi’s recipe.

I was dying to make Ottolenghi’s recipe for a reason that is deep to my heart: the success story of the restaurants in the UK and the cookbook is a perfect example of what can happen whenan Israeli and a Palestinian collaborateand  work together. It is one of my dreams that this partnership will become the norm, someday.

INGREDIENTS: 8 to 10 servings

  • 1 roasting chicken or 4 cups of baked chicken chunks
  • 3  large onions
  • olive oil, as needed
  • 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice, 1/2 cup of olive oil (for dressing)
  • 2 Tablespoons of roasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Thai fish sauce
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, leaves chopped fine
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh mint, leaves chopped fine
  • 1 bunch of green onions, chopped fine
  • 3  jalapeños or other chilis, seeded and diced
  • 1/2  cup of Basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup of brown Basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 1 box of baby arugula


  1. Clean the chicken by rubbing it with a cut lemon; sprinkle with salt and pepper all over and rub it all over with some olive oil; roast in a 375F oven till golden all over and cooked through.

  1. While the chicken is roasting, cook the Basmati in about 1 1/2 cups of water and  a dash of salt; or use a rice cooker if you’ve got one. Do the same for the brown Basmati and the wild rice, cooking them together in 2  cups of water.
  2. While the rice is cooking, heat some olive oil and fry the onions for about 45 minutes over low heat until browned all over and nicely caramelized; to speed this process you can throw in a dash of  sugar in the frying pan.
  3. When the chicken is done, cool and cut into  chunks; use a couple of  tablespoons of the chicken roasting juices to moisten the rice mixture.
  4. Make a dressing with the lemon juice, sesame oil, fish sauce and olive oil; pour over the chicken chunks and mix a bit.
  5. Mix all  of the chicken chunks, caramelized onions, rice mixture,  chopped cilantro, mint, green onions, chopped jalapeños and baby arugula. Serve.


66 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. lisaiscooking says:

    I keep hearing such good things about Ottolenghi and the cookbook. This salad looks fantastic. I think I need the book!

  2. Angela@spinachtiger says:

    This is a very intriguing recipe (using fish sauce). I can tell it would be most flavorful and a great dish to bring to a party.

    I think I will enjoy your blog very much.

  3. SE says:


    this looks so divine…loved the idea of using rice in the salad…just like you guys…we are all across and food connects everyone !!

  4. peter says:

    Marvelous that you reach out to let another family member know/urge them to try a new dish. Food, despite vast distances, still brings people together.

    I dig this dish as it has wild rice…love its nuttyness.

  5. Mimi says:

    Interesting combination of herbs with arugula. I need to read Ottolenghi’s cookbook .

  6. SYLVIA says:

    It is not surprising that you and your brother have embarkwd on a culinary interest together, and maintained your connection with the cuisine. My mother in low made a rice salad, called salad camergaise but yours has more depth of flavor, and looks lovely to look at, I will confidently add this to my dinner repertoire. Thank you kindly

  7. Krista says:

    Ohhh, this looks SO good!!! 🙂 I just found your blog and am so excited. 🙂 I’ve been trying all sorts of dishes from this region, and yours absolutely delight me. 🙂

  8. Dinners & Dreams says:

    So great to have family members everywhere. I always like a good rice recipe. I will have to look up Ottolenghi’s cookbook. I’m not familiar with the name.


  9. Faith says:

    I love all the fresh flavors in this dish. It sounds really lovely, especially with the mint, which is one of my favorite herbs!

  10. Mariana says:

    My goodness. There are so many “fusions” here. And they all come together beautifully. It has been so long since I used wild rice. Thanks for reminding me about it. Your dish looks amazing.

  11. Nadia says:

    It’s so great when family members share a love of food! This dish is so unique and with such great flavors, looks great!

  12. Barbara Bakes says:

    I’m sure caramelizing the onions adds a great flavor to this already flavorful dish. Thanks for your comment on my Bake Sale post. It really is shameful that in a country as wealthy as the US children are going hungry.

  13. Evel@CheapEthnicEatz says:

    That is too funny, I just made his multi-vegetable paella tonight for a vegetarian guest. I have to say your with chicken is more tempting for my canivorous tooth!

  14. Jean says:

    Hi there
    As the brother in question, I just need to provide this further clarification to give credit where credit is due. I had the salad at our condo in Singapore, after coming back from Japan. One of our neighbours, Karin made the salad (it was absolutely delicious), and generously gave me the recipe. It turns out that it is also featured in a Japan cooking blog, ergo the confusion, since I had just come back from Japan!

  15. Shaheen says:

    I’m in love with the Ottolenghi cookbook as well. I love how they make simple things taste so delicious.

  16. Ann says:

    Wow – that is a fusion of flavors there. I am a little intimidated with the roasting chicken part (takes forever for me!!) – but this is a seriously interesting salad. Thanks for sharing the info about the collaboration behind the cookbook. I have seen several Ottolenghi recipes posted on blogs, but didn’t know much about the cookbook itself.

  17. gaga says:

    What a great looking dish. So many great flavors, yum!

  18. Jessica says:

    This looks great! I love the pictures!

  19. Devaki says:

    Dear Joumana – What a treat visually as well as for the palate. Loving the 2 kinds of basmati rice and the unexpected mix of fish sauce and arugula. Looks fantastic & very unique too!

    Lovely post as always.


    Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  20. Sushma Mallya says:

    looks delicious,love the ingredients used…very nice one

  21. MaryMoh says:

    It looks very delicious. It’s a new Japanese dish for me. Love all the ingredients. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Doria says:

    Un très bon plat complet que tu me fais découvrir !
    Merci beaucoup pour le partage de ta recette !
    Je te souhaite un très bon mardi,
    Bisous, Doria

  23. Cherine says:

    This is an interesting recipe!! Love it!

  24. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    What a beautiful reason and sentiment for making this dish! 😀

  25. anncoo says:

    Thanks for sharing this interesting recipe. Will bookmark it.

  26. Maninas says:

    Thanks for introducing us to your brother! 🙂 he sounds like a great person to have around! i’m sure that’s not just for food.

    i got the ottolenghi book a couple of weeks ago, and I really like it. Haven’t cooked anything yet, but i’m sure i will do soon! i’ll make it my mission to check out one of the restaurants or pattiseries next time i’m in london, too.

  27. tigerfish says:

    This is the second time I am reading about this Ottolenghi cookbook! I love mixing my grains when cooking rice.

    Hey, by the way, I stay near San Francisco and currently doing my visiting in Singapore 🙂

  28. Miriam says:

    Joumana…i knew nothing about Ottolenghi chain of restaurants….but now i’m reading about them to understand more…i know what you mean when you talk about the successful collaboration here…..i feel the same about India n’ Pakistan…coming back to the dish…it looks delicious…really a nice post…

  29. Joanne says:

    I think this dish is made all the more delicious by virtue of the fact that it comes from a fusion of two cultures that are usually at odds with each other. That and the fact that it does seem quite tasty!

  30. Blond Duck says:

    Popped in to say hi! This looks great!

  31. alwayswinner786 says:

    This dish look fresh and interesting ! I would love to call it fusion cooking as it has a combo of unique ingredients! Great sharing!

  32. Cocotte says:

    La cuisine est un des plus beaux moyens de rester connecté, même sans en parler!

  33. Michael Fenster says:

    Wow, loooks fantastic! I am shooting some video this week and was wondering what to do with the leftover chicken-now I know. BTW, I share your sentiment, if we could just get people to cook and eat together and discover the similarities the world might be a more peaceful place….

  34. Stella says:

    I just read this as ‘ 3 chicken and rice’. Maybe I’m too tired to be online right now (smile). Looks delicious though!

  35. Muneeba says:

    Wow, u’re the second blog today to mention Ottolenghi! And thks for telling us that that’s it’s a collaboration between an Israeli and a Palentinian … that makes me SO happy!

  36. Barbara says:

    I’ve ordered that cookbook, Joumana. I’ve heard such wonderful things about it.
    I love the idea of mixing all the rices…and the flavor combo sounds delicious. We often have left-over chicken too!
    Thanks to Jean for the heads up on an unusual recipe!

  37. bellini valli says:

    This is one of those dishes that makes us want to check in my fridges to see if we have all of the ingredients.

  38. fimère says:

    c’est toujours un plaisir de venir chez toi et de découvrir de nouvelles saveurs
    cette salade me parait très savoureuse, j’aime beaucoup cette recette
    bonne soirée

  39. Anita says:

    Looks amazing! I’ve had the book on my list for a while. I think you just convinced me to finally get it .

  40. Nadjibella says:

    Encore une recette pleine de saveurs.
    En ce qui me concerne, les discussions et l’échange de recettes se fait plus avec mes sœurs même si les garçons ne sont pas exclus.
    A bientôt.

  41. recettes gourmandes says:

    waaaaw j’adore cette recette, nous là faisons mais d’une autre façon, merci pour la recette et à très bientôt.

  42. bakingaddict says:

    This looks really delicious. Haven’t been to Ottolenghi in ages and suddenly I’ve seen a few posts featuring his recipes. I got to meet one of his chefs at a party once which was really fun.

  43. T.W. Barritt says:

    It is inspiring how food brings people together, across miles and cultures. The rice and chicken salad has earned the designation as a family favorite!

  44. Soma says:

    This is exactly the kind of lunch I love to have.

    I have been reading your shredded phyllo dessert and drooling. I have had a similar kind in a Turkish restaurant but i think it was entirely vermicilli.. Mmmmm… so sinfully good.

  45. Diane@2stews says:

    I love chicken salad and any new way to make it is so appreciated. This looks divine and perfect for spring.


  46. shayma says:

    Fig tart? And why havent you shared this with us yet, dear Joumana? Please dont keep these gorgeous recipes from us. It’s really wonderful that despite being so far apart, you are all still so close- it’s the same way I feel about my family. This is so beautiful- gorgeous combination of flavours.

    And regarding your last sentence, “Amen”- I hope it becomes the norm. x shayma

  47. sophia says:

    You have a brother in Singapore! That’s so cool. I hope he sends you amazing stuff and spices.

    This salad looks so healthful, and a perfect side dish or entree for spring.

  48. Ivy says:

    I am always delighted to learn new things from your blog. This sounds wonderful and very flavourful. Is each rice cooked separately?

  49. Babeth59 says:

    internationale, belle et certainement très bonne cette salade!….merci de la partager avec nous!

  50. Sue Stephens says:

    Hi Joumana – Wow, what a wonderful recipe, thank you for sharing it! I love the flavour and texture of Wild Rice – my mouth is watering. I have added a link to you on my Blog!

  51. sweetlife says:

    wow I don’t blame your borther for csalling you this looks so delish. I love that is has two different rices and cilantro-mint-chiles what flavor. thanks for sharing


  52. 3hungrytummies says:

    This is such a grand dish! We often order Chicken and rice at our local Lebanese restaurant, this is different!

  53. HistoryOf GreekFood says:

    Thanks for the recipe and for Ottolenghi’s link. And may your dream for the Israeli-Palaestinian collaboration come true!

  54. MarkSpizer says:

    great post as usual!

  55. hernan alvarado says:

    renaissance of ethnic food, new vegetarianism and !Neal Yard in London
    mis a part of peace , your initiative is welcome too

  56. Bookcase Plans says:

    Your blog has provided me with useful tips in the past and I come back here often to check for updates. All the best.

  57. stacey snacks says:

    I am searching wild rice salads w/ chicken and yours/Ottolenghi’s came up! So just saying hi on your old post! May try this version this weekend.

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