Eat Well: Indonesian Rice Salad with a side of Makeout Sesh

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, mom!
I was skimming through my old posts the other day and was flabbergasted to find that I have never posted a recipe that’s been a staple in our lives for 30 years: Sri Wasano’s Infamous Indonesian Rice Salad (from the original Moosewood cookbook). It’s my favorite pot-luck contribution and summer bar-b-q side dish and can also stand as a meal unto itself. I think the first time I ever tasted this dish was at my brother-in-law’s and sister-in-law’s wedding. Rebecca was one year old and we drove from New Jersey to Art and Celeste’s Vermont farm for their outdoor lobster-bake wedding.
Larry's brother Art on his wedding day
with Rebecca, 1982
The happy couple
It was simply lovely…as much lobster as you could eat, delicious sides, and Celeste’s mother’s melt in your mouth Italian cookies. 

I get somewhat nostalgic thinking about weddings in the 70’s and early 80’s. They were simpler then and often homespun. In those days we all gathered together, sharing the joy and celebrating love without worrying about how the bills would be paid. Larry and I got married in my childhood home and my mom and I cooked everything ourselves. 
My dad, a judge, walked me across the patio and then performed the wedding. 
Larry and my dad
my dad and Larry's brother and best man, Art

This would be the side of Makeout Sesh -GGC
We didn’t have a band, but simply danced all night to records my cousin played, DJ style. It was wholly imperfect and perfect all at once.
with my sister, Fran and Larry's brother, Art
Larry and my mother
Larry's parents, Betty and Milt and Betty's triplet brother, Joe and his wife, Fay
Larry's grandma Belle and my mother's mother, Ruth (who Rebecca Ruth was named after)
with my late father, Lou

Back to the salad. Beautiful enough for a wedding, simple enough for a pot-luck, Sri Wasano’s Infamous Indonesian Rice salad is a winner for any occasion. What I love about this salad is that you can add any extras to make it your own. I always include sugar snap or Chinese pea pods—lots of them—so I listed them in the main ingredients instead of leaving them in the optional. They really add to the salad. I add the cashews at the last minute, after the salad has chilled, or else they get soggy. I never top with duck sauce…the salad is sweet enough. And I always double the recipe.

Sri Wasano’s Infamous Indonesian Rice Salad 
(Modified from The Moosewood Cookbook

2 cups COOKED, cooled brown rice (1 cup raw rice cooked in 1 ¾ cups boiling, salted water) 
½ cup raisins
2 chopped scallions
¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
Toasting sesame seeds
½ cup thinly-sliced water chestnuts
cutting water chestnuts
1 cup fresh mung bean sprouts
1 large, chopped green (or red) pepper
1 stalk chopped celery
several cups snow peas or sugar snap peas, cut into chunks
fresh parsley
¼ cup toasted cashews

¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
½ cup safflower oil
1 Tbs. sesame oil
1 Tbs. Tamari sauce
2 Tbs. dry sherry
juice of one lemon
1-2 cloves minced garlic
½-1 tsp. freshly grated ginger root salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients except the cashews and chill.
Adding peas and mung beans
Add cashews just before serving, toss, and serve on greens.
Finished salad
(Top with duck sauce if desired)

½ cup thinly sliced bamboo shoots
 fresh pineapple chunks
 toasted UNSWEETENED coconut


Amber | 11:14 AM

YUM this looks fantastic!! Will have to try SOON :D

Melissa K | 11:28 AM

Wow Rebecca, I knew Bo didn't really look like Archer, Fable, and Revi, but I didn't realize how much she looks like YOU!

Wendy, the salad looks great. Thanks for posting it!

Jayme | 11:28 AM

I can't get past how much Rebecca looks like Boheme in that picture near the top! :)

Valerie {All Mussed Up} | 11:36 AM

I grew up in Indonesia and have never seen anything quite like this, but it still looks delicious! (: All those old photographs are even more delicious, of course.

Anonymous | 11:37 AM

The wedding pictures are ADORABLE! Thank you for sharing!

sucker4acoustic | 11:40 AM

What's funny is that I'm seeing these comments about how you look like Bo, but when I saw the picture I thought "Wow! She looks just like Revi!!"

Anonymous | 11:42 AM

Oh man! I don't think I've ever commented before, but this is just the cutest, sweetest, nicest thing I've read in ages.

I love the Eat Well posts - this one might be my favourite!

glenda | 11:45 AM

Love the pictures. Salad looks yummy. Bo and Rebecca = twins !!!

Dranrab | 12:19 PM

I love love love those pictures from your families weddings.

Going by the name of this dish, I thought I wasn't going to like it, but it looks delish!

anna | 1:08 PM

this sounds so good. i'll think i will add it to my menu for next week. it'd sounds like a good salad to keep in the fridge for lunch/snack time, too.
i loved all the photos. my husband and i just got married, 5 months ago today, and we went simple, as well. it was our closet family and friends. i made all the food with my closet friends and sister in law. it was lovely. thanks for sharing your pictures and day with us.

SarahH | 1:33 PM

Beautiful pictures x

Stef | 3:16 PM

I also just had to comment how much Baby Rebecca (it's like saying Baby Jesus) resembles Bo! I know that you (Wendy) and Rebecca have both mentioned it before, but this really proves it. And to think I thought Bo looked more like Hal! It was probably the hair...even though Rebecca has mentioned she used to be blonde, I can't shake the image of her with her signature long brown hair...and Hal's scalp looks closer to blonde than Rebecca's hair does. :-)

I also wanted to agree about simpler weddings being nice. When I got married in 2005, my husband and I started planning (we were doing our own wedding planning and funding), but I got so overwhelmed by the complexity and cost of everything we were encountering. We ended up just flying out to Hawaii for a Weddingmoon. And it seems Rebecca also eschewed the modern wedding maze.

You were a lovely bride! You and Larry seemed so genuinely happy. Thanks for sharing these family photos. As if Rebecca doesn't make your family seem awesome enough!

(I promise I'm not stalking your family; I'm just a long-time reader and fan of the blog!)

I look forward to trying this salad. I love veggie-packed, one-dish, chilled meals in the summertime. Thanks!

Stephanie | 3:26 PM

Love the pictures, my parents were married in their friends back yard in late 70's. My grandpa was the officiant, small crowd. My mom and her best friend made the food and the cake and I am pretty sure they both wore flip flops. So much simpler back then.

Cant wait to try out another one of your recipes!

Sarah | 3:38 PM

I love the old photos! Just beautiful. The salad looks amazing too. Do you think it'd work without raisins?

Kendra Fromm | 3:48 PM

love the old photos!

Wendy Woolf | 3:51 PM

Thank you, all, for your loving comments! And Sarah, YES, you can make it without raisins!

Amber | 4:02 PM

When are you writing a cookbook?!! Can't wait to try this one!

Christine | 4:48 PM

Those are some awesome mustaches. Me-OW!


The salad looks great, and perfect for a potluck. I might throw some chickpeas into it and call it dinner!

Also, the photos are incredible. I was born in the '80s, and I also have (false) nostalgia for the weddings of the '70s! Back yard, homemade celebrations can be so lovely.

P.S. I see the resemblance to Baby Bec, but I've always thought Bo looked like Wendy!

Sarahtksarah | 5:56 PM

Wendy, you seriously need your own blog. Don't get me wrong--I adore your features on GGC, but I find myself wondering about what you have to say about so many things--what it was like to raise three teenagers into gorgeous young adults for instance (like Rebecca, I have young children as well and find myself looking out for role models in parents who have seen their children through to adulthood successfully; you seem to be just that); or what your hopes are as a grandmother now; or even the things you have learned about staying happily married to the same man for so many years. The truth is, there are a lot of young bloggers, like Rebecca, doing their thing so well, but very few seasoned women sharing their stories and experiences. You seem simply fabulous--a surrogate mother to all of us who read GGC. I, for one, would be thrilled to see you expand the platform. Granted, you most likely have a very busy life, in which case this is all to say that I love your posts--this one in particular. You are fabulous.

Anonymous | 8:11 PM

Ditto what saratksarah said!

Unknown | 7:39 AM

I third Sarahtksarah -- if you have the time, you should totally start your own blog.

It was so nice to see your wedding pictures and to hear about how you guys did it. My fiance and I are flat broke and it's been kind of a sore spot any time someone asks me, "So when are you guys getting married?" I like to respond with, "As soon as we hit the lottery." These days weddings are huge competitions to see who can have the most beautiful event, but I like the idea of doing it in a backyard and cooking my own food -- '70s and '80s style.

Stef | 7:56 AM

I 4th that emotion!

Wendy Woolf | 8:08 AM

Thank you, Sarahtksarah and others for your encouragement. I have been mulling around in my mind thoughts of my own blog...I guess it's the technology part that is giving me pause. And of course the time factor. But maybe it's time to go forth and conquer! ;)

Sarah | 8:36 AM

Wendy - thanks! I love Asian salads but raisins & I are not friends.

Anonymous | 1:19 PM


avb | 6:58 PM


Just made this for a friend getting out of the hospital and coming home to a house full of guests. Quadrupled the recipe and good thing I did, because my mom and I are sitting here eating it now -- DELICIOUS!

xo Ashley

Anonymous | 11:49 AM

Love the old pics !
Thanks for sharing.


Brooke | 12:22 PM

Um, Baby Rebecca and Bo are identical!!!!! That is crazy.

Barnicles | 8:30 AM

such amazing photos! i love that pic of the lobsters.... how much would that have cost? but back then and times were different.

My parents wedding was much the same, infact i think it was bring a dish and i think there are a few people who carry on the tradition now.

thanks for sharing the recipe!

Barnicles x

Ray | 4:01 PM

Beautiful couple, you and Larry. Lovely wedding photos. Thanks for sharing. ;o)