This black rice salad is absolutely delicious. It's made with forbidden rice, sweet mangoes and oranges, toasted or spicy cashews, and an incredible citrus salad dressing.

Complete the meal with some ginger garlic chicken and sautéed bok choy.

A close up of black rice salad with mango and cashews.

This recipe was originally published back in 2012. We've updated the post with some new photos and more information. We've also tweaked the recipe so that it's a little easier to make – but it's still every bit as delicious!

Black rice salad

If you love combining sweet and savory flavors then this black rice salad is for you! The nutty forbidden black rice, sweet mango and orange pieces, and crunchy toasted cashews make every bite a happy one.

You can prepare this salad several hours in advance so it is perfect for a dinner party or to take on a picnic. It also keeps really well for a day or two in the fridge making it ideal for meal prep.

What is black rice

Black rice, which is also known as Forbidden Rice, is a type of glutinous rice that is dark black but turns into a deep purple color once cooked. Its color comes mostly from anthocyanin, which is the same pigment that colors raspberries and blueberries. It has a slightly nutty flavor and a chewy texture similar to brown rice.

It's also a very healthy rice that has a low glycemic index, is higher in protein, and has more antioxidants than other types of rice.

How to make black rice salad

This recipe is made in three easy steps.

  1. Cook the rice then let it cool. We spread it out on a baking sheet so that it cools faster.
  2. Mix the salad dressing ingredients together.
  3. Put the cooked black rice and the remaining ingredients into a big bowl and toss with the dressing. So easy!

Full recipe instructions in the recipe card below.

Should this be served hot or cold?

While this recipe is intended to be served at room temperature, it is also delicious served warm. Instead of cooling the rice after it's cooked, simply mix all the ingredients together right away for a warm black rice salad.

Variations to try

  • Replace the oranges with more mangos.
  • Add some pineapple, persimmon, papaya, or other tropical fruit.
  • Switch up the nuts. Peanut or almonds make great choices.
  • Add some feta cheese.
  • Make it more veggie-forward with cucumbers, peppers, or snap peas.

What to serve with black rice salad

This black rice salad definitely has an Asian vibe to it so goes well with Asian-inspired recipes. But it's also quite versatile so if you have a favorite chicken or fish recipe, chances are that it will go well with this salad.

Chicken recipes to pair with black rice salad:

Fish recipes that go well with black rice salad:

Veggie sides to serve with this salad:

Black rice salad with mangos in a white bowl.
Black rice salad with mangos in a white bowl.

Black Rice Salad with Mango and Cashews

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian


This black rice salad is absolutely delicious. It's made with forbidden rice, sweet mangoes and oranges, toasted or spicy cashews, and an incredible citrus salad dressing. 



  • 2 cups black rice + 3 ½ cups water
  • ¼ cup EACH: lime juice and orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon EACH: fish sauce, honey, and cooking oil
  • 3 Alphonso mangos (or 2 globe mangos), cut into chunks
  • 6 mini mandarin oranges (or 3 regular oranges), segmented 
  • ½ cup EACH: toasted cashews and chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup EACH: thinly sliced red onion and chopped green onions


  1. Cook the rice. Put the black rice and water into a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Make the dressing. In a glass measuring cup or bowl, mix the lime juice, orange juice, fish sauce, honey, and oil.
  3. Cool the rice. When the black rice has finished cooking, transfer it to a rimmed baking sheet and spread it out into a thin layer. This helps it cool fast. Pour the dressing over the rice and mix well. Let the rice sit until it has cooled and the dressing has absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  4. Finish the salad. Transfer the rice to a large mixing bowl then add the mangoes, oranges, cashews, cilantro, red onions, and green onions and mix well.

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