Hello Japan! is a monthly mini-challenge focusing on Japanese literature and culture. Each month there is a new task which relates to some aspect of life in Japan. February’s mission is ‘Cooking Japanese’!
A while ago I promised you the recipe for Japanese sesame-crusted rice patties from The Vegetarian Table: Japan cookbook by Victoria Wise. They’re easy to make and you can do that from scratch — or use leftovers like I did. Don’t you just love leftover cooking? It feels like spring cleaning! ;)
This is what you need according to the recipe.
- 1.5 cups basic steamed rice, warm or reheated
- 1 tbs flour
- 0.5 ts salt
- 1 large or 2 small scallions, trimmed and minced
- 1 tbs sesame seeds, preferably black
- vegetable oil for frying
And here’s what I used instead. ;)
As you can see I took some wilting leek, a mix of black & (toasted) white sesame seeds and ordinary cooked (not steamed) leftover Surinaamse long-grain rice.
- Place rice, flour salt and scallions (= everything except sesame seeds and oil) in a medium bowl.
- With wet hands, mix until well blended.
- Form the mixture into ca. 6 patties, rewetting your hands as you go to keep the rice from sticking. But if you’ve ever made sushi you know that, right?
- Sprinkle both sides of the patties with sesame seeds, set them on a plate, and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour. I put them in the fridge and continued the next day.
- When ready to cook, pour a small amount of oil (more than enough to coat the pan but not so much as to float the patties), into a frying pan and heat until beginning to smoke.
- Place as many patties as will fit in the pan and fry over medium heat until lightly golden; about 1 minute.
- Turn and fry until golden on the other side, about one minute more. Note: the frying took a little longer on both sides in my case and I actually turned them over twice.
- Transfer to a platter and continues until all your rice patties are fried.
- Serve right away.
Now it’s important to look at the last remark. Serve right away. That’s not what I did: I left them to cool and put them in the fridge for next day’s lunch. So I have no idea what they taste like warm… Pretty dumb, I know. :\ And when I had them in my bento the following day, well, I admit they were a bit dry. This may have been caused by either one or all of next three options:
- that I didn’t serve them right away,
- refrigerating the patties, both before and after frying (refrigerating is known to dry-out rice, you shouldn’t really put sushi in your fridge either),
- the use of Surinam long-grain rice instead of Japanese, which is supposed to be more sticky i.e. more moist.
Although the recipe didn’t call for an accompanying sauce I made a spicy soy-lemon sauce from the same cookbook for a dip. Alas, that was no real solution since it was too strong for the patties and took away their subtle flavour.
Will I make this recipe again? Yes, but only when I’ll be eating the sesame-crusted rice patties right away and/or have some Japanese rice to use up. I rather like Victoria Wise’s cookbook, so the fault probably lies with me. ;)
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New recipe(s) tried for the Whip Up Something New! Challenge!
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Join Beth Fish’s weekend cooking with a food-related post!