Black Rice Salad with Spicy Toasted Sesame Dressing

This black rice salad is super easy to make and has some wonderfully nutritious ingredients—rich in colour and packed full of fresh flavours, and it’ll have your taste buds dancing!

I always like to create something a little different, and salads are no exception! You’ll find that most of my salad recipes can also be eaten as main meals on their own. 

If you love fresh, vibrant and Japanese-inspired flavours, this black rice salad will be your new go-to recipe!

Close up of the black rice salad in a large bowl

Kitchen tools used to make this black rice salad.

There’s only a handful of kitchen tools needed to create this wonderful, vibrant side dish. 

  • Chopping board
  • Large knife
  • Medium pot
  • Large bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Small jar

Black rice salad ingredients all in a large bowl.

Ingredients used in this salad

The simple, yet tasty ingredients used in this salad are what makes this combination work. You’ll find the following ingredients in this dish:

  • Black rice
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Fresh mint
  • Fresh coriander
  • Cucumber
  • Toasted almonds

The dressing is made up of the following:

  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Tamari
  • Lime juice
  • Maple syrup
  • Olive oil
  • Chilli powder and fresh chillies

Close up shot from above of all the salad ingredients

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Why use black rice?

I’ve chosen to use black rice because it has a wonderful earthy and nutty flavour. The rice also doesn’t get too soft, which is typically found with some white rice varieties. It probably resembles red rice the most in terms of its cooking instructions, texture and flavour. 

You can substitute this for brown rice or red rice. I personally love black rice for this dish, plus the colour contrast with the herbs and veggies is so beautiful!

Black rice is typically used in desserts or served as a side to curries and stir-fries. I loved the idea of having it in a salad that created a bold and refreshing look and flavour. 

Close up of the black rice salad from above

Tips for making this black rice salad

As this salad is straightforward, there aren’t too many tips needed to make this dish. I do, however, have a few tips for swaps if needed.

  • If you don’t have black rice or can’t access it easily, you can swap it out for medium grain brown rice or red rice. 
  • You can swap out the maple syrup for any liquid sweetener of choice, agave or rice malt syrup are great alternatives. 
  • If you’re not gluten-free, you can switch out the tamari sauce for soy sauce.
  • Besides almonds, other nuts that would be great in this salad are peanuts and cashews. 

Black rice salad served in a blue side dish.

This salad is:

  • Fresh
  • Vibrant
  • Spicy
  • Gluten-free
  • Perfectly balanced
  • Healthy
  • Flavourful

Other delicious recipes you’ll love:

  1. Rainbow Falafel Salad
  2. Vegan Red Rice Salad with Tahini Dressing
  3. Vegan Mediterranean Couscous Salad
  4. Spiced Carrot & Millet Salad
  5. Roasted Eggplant and Capsicum Buckwheat Salad

If you try this recipe, let me know! Would love for you to leave a comment and rating below. If you want to go that extra mile, tag us on Instagram or share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest

Black Rice Salad with Spicy Toasted Sesame Dressing

Black Rice Salad with Spicy Toasted Sesame Dressing

Yield: 4 as a side
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This fragrant black rice salad is naturally gluten-free, packed with nutritious ingredients making it a refreshing side dish!


  • 1.5 cups (300g/10.58oz) black rice*
  • 2 (¾ cup) roasted red bell peppers (from a jar), sliced into thin strips
  • 1 (1.5 cups) large cucumber, diced into cubes
  • 1 large handful (35g/1.23oz) coriander/cilantro, chopped
  • 10 mint leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup (30g/1.06oz) toasted slivered almonds*


  • 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tamari sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1.5 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 small red chilli, sliced and deseeded (optional)


  1. Cook the rice as per packet instructions.
  2. While the rice cooks, chop all your ingredients and add to a large bowl.
  3. In a small jar, add all the dressing ingredients and shake well.
  4. Once the rice is cooked, give it a rinse under cold water and let it drain well. Please don't skip the draining step as you will end up with a watery salad.
  5. Add the black rice to the large bowl and pour over the dressing.
  6. Toss well and serve.
  7. It will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.


* The black rice that I buy is parboiled already, so cooking time is around 20 minutes. However, if you buy it uncooked, it will take about 40 minutes to cook.

* You can use whole or flaked almonds as well.

* See the tips sections above for ingredient substitutes.

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