Asian Rice Salad

A wooden bowl filled with Asian Rice Salad.

Take your potluck in a new direction with this tasty Asian Rice Salad. Dotted with dried apricots and crunchy peanuts, this easy wild rice salad with homemade soy and ginger dressing recipe is tangy, sweet and delicious!

If you want to switch up your usual summer sides with something flavorful and easy to make, you’ll love this Asian wild rice salad with ginger soy dressing. This healthy summer salad goes excellent with Asian chicken thighs or tequila pork tenderloin and is delicious with seared tuna.

cup of uncooked wild rice

This recipe starts with wild rice, which is not rice at all.  It’s an aquatic grass.  I wrote about its origins in this post for Green Bean and Wild Rice Salad.  Wild rice is slightly nutty and chewy, the perfect base for this cold rice salad.

Ingredients for Asian wild rice salad

  • Wild Rice
  • Water
  • Orange Juice
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Dried Apricots
  • Scallions
  • Dry Roasted Peanuts
wild rice in a pot with water and orange juice.

I use equal parts water and orange juice for cooking rice to add a little citrus nuance. Since wild rice takes longer to cook than white and brown rice, you’ll want to get it on the stove before you prep the other ingredients.

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shredded carrots and diced celery

While the rice simmers, you can pull together the rest of the veg. The basis for this Asian rice salad starts with a little grated carrot and finely diced celery.  (save the celery leaves for later – they’re really good).

chopped apricots in a bowl.

Finely chopped dried apricots add a sweet tart flavor to this wild rice salad recipe. You can also try other dried fruit like golden raisins, dried cherries or chopped dried plums, but if you have dried apricots on hand, use ’em.

chopped veggies and fruit in a bowl.

Combine the apricots, carrots and celery in a bowl with chopped scallions and toss to combine.

cooked wild rice in a strainer.

When the wild rice is cooked, strain it through a fine mesh strainer and let the rice cool to almost room temperature.  (It can still be warm, you just don’t want to add hot rice to the vegetables, otherwise they’ll wilt and won’t have the same texture).

mixing wild rice with vegetables.

Toss the wild rice with the veggies and apricots.

chopping peanuts for the Asian rice salad

We like a little crunch in our salads and peanuts (especially Virginia peanuts because they’re larger and crunchier) are my favorite, though you could also use toasted cashews or even almonds if you prefer. 

making soy and ginger dressing with a small bowl and whisk.

Soy and ginger dressing

The ginger soy dressing is what makes this Asian rice salad so special.  Its got a healthy dose of freshly grated ginger, minced garlic, olive oil AND toasted sesame oil, soy sauce (or use Tamari to make it gluten free), rice wine vinegar and honey. You can substitute agave for the honey to make it a vegan salad dressing recipe.  The flavors in the easy Asian salad dressing really pop and give this wild rice salad recipe that distinct Asian flavor.

tossing peanuts and dressing with Asian Wild Rice Salad.

Assembling the wild rice salad

Toss the peanuts and dressing with the salad and sprinkle with reserved chopped celery leaves.  You can serve it at room temperature or chilled and it works great either way. This is one of those dishes that no one sees coming. They don’t expect the flavors. They don’t anticipate the crunch and it’s one that you’ll go back to again and again.

How long will Asian rice salad keep?

Though its best served the first day, it will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days — and is better if you add the chopped peanuts just before serving. 

Asian Wild Rice Salad with Ginger Soy Dressing in a bowl with serving spoon.

Asian wild rice salad with ginger soy dressing is a great side dish for barbecues, potlucks and picnics or a delicious main course for vegetarian and vegan eaters (substitutions included).

More rice recipes you might like: 

Asian rice salad with soy and ginger dressing in a wooden bowl with a spoon.

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Serving Asian Rice Salad as a side dish.
Print Pin
3.96 from 22 votes

Asian Wild Rice Salad

Served warm or at room temperature, this easy wild rice salad is packed with good things.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Asian Inspired
Keyword wild rice
Dietary Restrictions Dairy-Free, Egg Free, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6


For The Rice Salad:

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 large carrot peeled and shredded
  • 1 stalk celery cut into 1/4″ dice (reserve celery leaves for garnish)
  • ½ cup dried apricots cut into 1/4″ dice
  • 3 scallions sliced
  • cup dry roasted peanuts chopped

For The Asian Dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey (substitute agave for vegan)


  • Add the rice, water and orange juice to a medium saucepan and heat over high heat.  Cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for 45-60 minutes or until rice is tender.  Transfer rice to a mesh strainer and drain excess liquid.  Set aside to cool.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the ginger, garlic, olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and honey.  Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the carrot, celery, apricots and scallions. Add the  rice and peanuts and toss to blend.  Add 2-3 tablespoons of the dressing and taste for seasoning.  If salad needs more seasoning or seems dry add dressing one tablespoon at a time.  Chop the reserved celery leaves (about 1 tablespoon) and sprinkle on top of the salad.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.


Leftovers keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 414mg | Potassium: 544mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 2650IU | Vitamin C: 43.7mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1.4mg

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Step out of your potluck side dish routine with this Asian Wild Rice Salad with Ginger Soy Dressing. This easy rice salad w/ Asian dressing recipe is tops. #wildrice #ricesalad #apricots #driedapricots #asianfood #asianrecipes #soy #ginger #asiandressing #soygingerdressing #peanuts #potlucksides #salads #sidedish #picnic #barbecue #carrots #celery #healthysidedish #vegansides #vegetariansides

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  1. Kit Curnow says:

    5 stars
    I made this for a work luncheon and it was a huge hit. I substituted toasted almond slices for the peanuts.

  2. 5 stars
    This was so delicious! I added chopped cilantro which added to the Asian flavors.

  3. 5 stars
    I needed a larger family salad and only had 1C wild rice so I doubled my amount using some frozen white rice. I didn’t have dried apricots so I substituted Craisins knowing orange juice and cranberries just go together. I also added finely sliced leek for a different texture and bit of onion flavor. The dressing tastes wonderful! Since I made it this morning I’m keeping the dressing separate from the other ingredients until I serve it with an individual peanut garnish. I think my family will love this as much as I do and I definitely will be making this often!

  4. 5 stars
    This is a such a good recipe – thank you! It turned out exactly as described, with unexpected flavor and texture. The dressing is incredible, and really makes the dish. The fresh chopped garlic and grated ginger are important to the quality. I used fresh tangerine juice in cooking the rice and would say that yes, you do want the contribution of the juice to the dish. You will see once it is all mixed together and you taste it. Thanks again for this addition to my recipe collection.

    1. Hi Virginia! I’m so glad you enjoyed the rice salad! Tangerine juice sounds terrific in this, will have to try that next time.

  5. 5 stars
    This looks amazing! Any suggestions for a substitute for the oj? Orange is a migraine trigger for my husband.

    1. I would just cook the rice with water as you normally would and skip the oj.

  6. 5 stars
    I have to try this one! The apricots are intriguing me! It looks so delicious!

  7. 5 stars
    I love rice salads – great flavors, lots of veggies, and easy to pack for lunch the next day!

    1. Having leftovers for lunch the next day is one of my main focuses when I make a meal the night before!

  8. 5 stars
    wow you put apricots in there too? This whole salad is busting with delicious flavors!!!!

  9. 5 stars
    I’ve become a big fan of wild rice, I really enjoy the nuttier texture. Love the idea of cooking with part orange juice, and that dressing sounds so delicious!

    1. Thanks, Caroline. It’s a really tasty salad and I hope you enjoy it!