Japanese Summer Rice Salad | The Perfect Picnic or Potluck Dish from Branch Basics

Branch Basics | Japanese Summer Rice Salad


Traditional, medicinal Japanese foods like seaweed and plum paste enrich this rice salad with easy to absorb nutrients. Umeboshi paste is made from umeboshi plums. This traditional medicinal food is often used in rice and vegetable dishes in Japan. The sour and salty paste has a strong alkalizing effect on the body and is used to aid digestion, combat fatigue, and inhibit bacterial growth. Nori is a seaweed commonly used as the outer wrap on sushi. In Japan, it is also used in soups, grains, noodles, and vegetable dishes. Nori is a low-calorie, nutrient dense food containing iron, omega-3s, digestible protein, iodine, and Vitamins A and C. If you don’t normally stock these two superfoods in your pantry, we highly recommend experimenting with them for added flavor and nutrition in other dishes. They might be your new favorite condiments!

For the rice

  • 1 ½ cup long grain brown rice, brown basmati rice, Jasmati rice*
  • 3 cups water
  • pinch salt
  1. If you’re using brown rice, wash and soak rice overnight in water (enough to cover all the rice).  Discard the soaking water before cooking.
  2. Add rice, water and salt to saucepan or rice cooker.
  3. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook on low for one hour. If using a rice cooker, prepare as you normally would. Don’t forget the salt!

Marilee’s note: Jasmati rice from Rice Select is available at many grocery stores, including HEB and Whole Foods. I trust this brand because they guarantee no mold. Jasmati rice is very light and nice for summer, so I recommend it for this dish.

Branch Basics | Japanese Summer Rice Salad RecipeFor the dressing

Blend the following ingredients to make the rice salad dressing:

  • ½ c. olive oil
  • ½ c. minced onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ c. lemon juice
  • 1-3 t. umeboshi paste or sea salt to taste
  • 1 T. mustard

Branch Basics | Japanese Summer Rice Salad RecipePreparing the rice salad

Mix the cooked rice with the following:

  • 4 scallions, sliced thin on the diagonal
  • 1-2 c. cooked chickpeas (Eden canned chickpeas are a BPA-free option if you don’t want to cook from scratch)
  • lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
  • 2 sheets Emerald Cove Sushi Nori (already toasted), torn or cut into small pieces

Combine the rice salad mixture with dressing. Allow to marinate for a bit, then taste and add more dressing if desired. Serve the Japanese Summer Rice Salad warm or chill in the fridge to serve later. I like to serve this salad with raw vegetable sticks.

Branch Basics | Japanese Summer Rice Salad Recipe


Common Household Chemicals to Avoid | Branch BasicsFollow along with our Clean Sweep series about toxic chemicals to avoid in your home: Common Chemicals to Avoid – A Branch Basics Series.

Ready to swap out BPA plastics in your kitchen for a safer material? Try Switching to Glass: How to Avoid BPA Exposure.

Going on a trip? Check out our Healthy Travel Guide for our favorite travel snacks and tips for preventing sunburn, jetlag, and more!

SAFE-SIMPLE-Clare-Wood-Branch-Basics-Minimalist-Mama-6Improve your indoor air quality by using The Official Branch Basics Deep Cleaning Method.

This article explains why your dryer might be contaminated: Addicted to Dryer Sheets?

Ready to streamline your routine? Read Clare’s tricks in Safe + Simple: Tips from a Minimalist Mama.

Want a simple trick for improving indoor air quality? Find out why we’re loving Himalayan Pink Salt Lamps!


Enjoyed this post? Sign up for our newsletter!

Clean Sweep

We only send great stuff. Twice a month.


Starter Kit + Oxygen Boost

$69.00 Order Now

Laundry Kit

$59.00 Order Now

Trial Kit

$5.00 Order Now


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *