Thai Coconut Rice Salad

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  • 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4+
Ratings (5)

This rice salad recipe is a fresh, easy-to-make tropical treat! Thai Coconut Rice Salad makes a great way to use up leftover rice, plus it's healthy and delicious! Includes shrimp (vegetarians can substitute cashews) for protein, plus vegetables and fresh herbs for a complete lunch or dinner. And because the dressing is made with coconut milk (not cream or mayonnaise), this rice salad recipe is healthy and low-fat. It also happens to taste fantastic. ENJOY!

What You'll Need

  • 4 cups white rice (cooked long-grain, like Thai jasmine rice)
  • 1 cup papaya (fresh or fresh/canned pineapple, cut into small pieces)
  • 1 can shrimp (or shrimp cocktail, medium or use fresh/frozen cooked shrimp - Vegetarians substitute 1/2 cup more cashews)
  • 1/2 can corn cobs (mini, cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1/2 cup cashews (dry roasted, left whole or lightly chopped)
  • 3 spring onions (sliced)
  • 1 cup coriander (fresh, lightly chopped)
  • 1/2 cup basil (fresh, lightly chopped)
  • 1 chili (red fresh, deseeded and cut into thin strips, OR 1/2 red bell pepper, diced)
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (good quality)
  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce (Vegetarians substitute 1 more tbsp. soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 lime (squeezed for juice)
  • 1-2 tsp. sugar (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)

How to Make It

For more information on fresh papaya, see: All About Preparing Fresh Papaya. For more information on fresh pineapple, seeHow to Cut a Pineapple.


  1. Make the salad dressing by mixing all dressing ingredients together in a bowl or measuring cup.
  2. Taste-test the dressing for salt, sweetness, and spice. Add more fish sauce if not salty enough, more sugar if too sour, or more cayenne pepper if you prefer it spicier. If you happen to over-spice this dressing, add a little more coconut milk. Set aside.
  1. Place cooked rice in a large mixing or salad bowl. Use your fingers to work through any lumps, separating the rice back into grains.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the salad and toss.
  3. Stir the dressing one more time and then pour over the salad. Toss thoroughly.
  4. To serve, either portion out the rice salad directly onto serving plates or into bowls, or dress it up by lining plates with a bed of salad greens. Place the rice salad on top of the greens and top with extra fresh coriander or a few cashew nuts, if desired. This salad is also excellent served with chili sauce on the side, such as my Nam Prik Pao Chili Sauce Recipe[/link">. ENJOY!