This Nigella recipe is taken from her Channel 4 series Forever Summer, all about easy cooking and laid back recipes that keep you feeling like summer never ends.
This didn't start life quite like this. That's to say, I happened to have a bit of cold black rice and some Vietnamese dipping sauce left over in the fridge one day, along with a fresh consignment of raw, peeled prawns. The black rice had gone with a fish curry; the dipping sauce I'd eaten with a lemongrass-stuffed roast chicken.
I'm telling you this simply to illustrate that this is what real cooking is about: you just go with what you've got. In fact you could play with this a number of ways. You could have the rice hot, the prawns hot, too, just stirred through with the cold dipping sauce-turned-dressing; in place of the prawns, you could have hot, quickly fried squid rings; you could forgo the fish part and turn this vegetarian by adding some soft, jade chunks of avocado to the cold black rice and chilli-speckled dressing.
The dipping sauce anyway is something I wouldn't want to live without: I love it with roast or poached chicken, grilled chicken wings, to dunk prawns into, or to spoon over plain steamed pak choi or broccoli. I could go on - and often do.
The black rice is real black rice, not wild rice and not white rice dyed black with squid ink. It's packaged by Merchant Gourmet and I get it from the supermarket, usually without any trouble.
For the Vietnamese dipping sauce/ dressing
For the salad
1. To make the sauce, simply mix all the ingredients together. It doesn't get much less complicated than that, frankly. Well, there is the small matter of the rice and prawns.
2. The rice you just cook by following the instructions on the packet.
3. The prawns you poach in some simmering salted water, to which you've added the juice of half a lemon, for 5 minutes or so or until just cooked through but still very tender.
4. Let both rice and prawns cool, then give the sauce a quick stir and spoon some over the rice, fork this through and then tumble the prawns on top, spooning a little more sauce over as you go.
The best chefs on TV and over 6,000 recipes