Quinoa (keen´-wa), an ancient grain native to the Andes Mountains of South America, makes a terrific base for this Latin-leaning main-dish salad. Quinoa has almost twice as much protein as other whole grains. Cook it in the morning, or a day ahead, so it has time to chill.

Quinoa Steak Salad


1 cup uncooked quinoa*
1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp. NAKANO Seasoned Rice Vinegar Roasted Garlic
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce or 1 small jalapeno, seeded, deveined and minced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, peeled and diced
2-3 Tbsp. diced red onion
4 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
4 steaks, 4-6 oz. each
Ground cumin to taste
Salt & pepper to taste
Lettuce leaves


Prepare quinoa as package directs.* Allow to cool 15 minutes then spread out on a shallow dish or tray. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

For dressing, stir together 1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar, oil, salt and hot pepper sauce.

Transfer chilled quinoa to a medium bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the dressing and the 2 tablespoons additional rice vinegar. Sprinkle on 2 tablespoons of the cilantro; stir.

For salsa, combine the remaining dressing with tomatoes, avocado, red onion and the remaining cilantro; stir.

Coat a heavy frying pan with a little oil. Rub about 1/2 teaspoon cumin on each side of each steak. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until done as desired.

Lay lettuce leaves on four plates. Divide quinoa among each plate. Place cooked steaks on top and spoon salsa over.

*Notes: One cup raw quinoa makes about 4 cups cooked. Prepare more if desired; just splash on an extra tablespoon or two of Nakano when making the quinoa part of the salad. The steaks may be grilled.

Makes 4 – 6oz. steak servings

*Recipe and image courtesy of Nakano.*

A heart-healthy meal that is ready in minutes – this pan-roasted salmon just melts in your mouth!

Pan-Roasted Salmon with Black-Bean Garlic Sauce


1/4-cup NAKANO Seasoned Rice Vinegar Red Pepper
2-teaspoons soy sauce
2 -teaspoons Asian (toasted) sesame oil
4-skinless salmon fillets (1-3/4 to 2 lbs)
Freshly ground black pepper
1-tablespoon vegetable oil
4-teaspoons black bean garlic sauce*
3-medium green onions, minced
1-tablespoon minced fresh ginger


In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil; set aside. Pat salmon dry with paper towels; remove bones. Lightly season salmon with pepper.

In a 12-inch non-stick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook salmon on one side until well browned, about 4 minutes; remove skillet from heat. Carefully turn salmon over; spread 1 teaspoon bean sauce over each fillet. Drizzle vinegar mixture over salmon; sprinkle with onions and ginger. Cover; cook over medium heat until salmon is done as desired, about 2 to 4 minutes.

To serve, spoon sauce in pan over salmon.

*Note: Black bean garlic sauce is available in Asian markets and the Asian section in supermarkets.

Serves 4 to 6.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Mizkan.*

A tropical-inspired marinade makes this simple shrimp dish divine! Serve over steamed rice. Yum!

Coconut-Lime Marinated Shrimp


1-1/4 lbs. raw, peeled shrimp (26/30 size or about 40 shrimp)
1 can (13.5 oz.) coconut milk
1/3 cup NAKANO Seasoned Rice Vinegar—Red pepper
1 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
2 large cloves garlic, minced
Grated peel of 2 limes
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
8 to 10 skewers (8 to 10-inches)


Place shrimp in a sealable gallon plastic bag. Shake can of coconut milk, open and pour into medium bowl or 2-cup measuring cup. Stir in Nakano seasoned rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and lime peel. Pour over shrimp and shake bag gently to coat. Seal bag and refrigerate 4 hours, turning bag over once.

If using wood skewers, soak skewers in water 30 minutes. Preheat broiler, or preheat grill to medium heat. Drain shrimp reserving marinade in a small saucepan. Thread 4 to 5 shrimp onto each skewer. Broil or grill 3 minutes; turn over and cook 3 minutes more. Meanwhile, bring marinade to a boil; boil for 1 full minute. Serve sauce with shrimp, over rice if desired.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Mizkan.*

Not a salad, not a sandwich – just a terrific flavor combination to eat out of hand. Use leftover cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken for added convenience.

Chicken Lettuce Bundles with Sesame Herb Dressing


Sesame Herb Dressing:

2/3 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup, plus 1 Tbsp. NAKANO Seasoned Rice Vinegar Original or Roasted Garlic, divided

1/3 cup chopped fresh mint

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro or basil

1 tsp. toasted sesame oil

2 green onions, finely chopped

1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger (optional)

Lettuce Bundles:

2 small avocados, not too soft

8 to 10 oz. cooked chicken, shredded

1 small cucumber, cut in 1/4-inch cubes

1/2 cup matchstick carrots

6 large Romaine lettuce leaves


Combine mayonnaise and 1/4-cup rice vinegar with remaining dressing ingredients in a small bowl or pitcher; whisk to blend. Cut avocados in half, remove pits and peel. Cut into small cubes, place in a bowl and toss with remaining 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar.

To assemble lettuce bundles, place a lettuce leaf on each serving plate. Drizzle center of lettuce with Sesame Herb Dressing. Top with 1/3 cup chicken, 2 tablespoons diced cucumbers, 1 tablespoon carrots, and about 1/4 cup diced avocado. Drizzle with more dressing. Fold sides of lettuce up and eat taco style.

Makes 6 lettuce bundles.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Mizkan.*