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I love food. You can make and eat this food. It is great. It is tasty. It is vegan. Eat it!

I suppose some of the inspiration for this came from Nigel Slater’s spicy pork meatball recipe in Appetite. I heart these meatballs, but only want pork once every couple months, if that. So an appropriate seared cake of non-meat is an excellent substitute along the same spicy ball/cake lines.

To feed two:

Cook the rice according to package/rice cooker directions. I find the 1 cup rice/2 cups water ratio to be plenty. You can use any type of short grain rice as long as it is sticky. You can’t make ricecakes if the rice will not stick together! I have used sushi rice and short grain brown to good effect.

While the rice is cooking, make a peanut sauce.

In a decent frying pan, sauté several cloves of minced garlic in a slosh of oil. Use more garlic if you like garlic more. When your garlic is fragrant and lovely, just turning golden, add a cup or so of vegetable broth. An Asian-flavored broth works very well--I had one I’d made with jalapenos and lemongrass--but plain veggie broth is also fine. Add a couple good squirts of sriracha sauce, and a couple big spoonfuls of peanut butter. Stir it all up with a wooden spoon. The peanut butter will gradually melt into the broth. Let the sauce cook on medium for a couple minutes, until it starts to change color and thicken. Then turn the heat down to keep it warm while your rice finishes cooking.

When everything is finished, pour the rice into the sauce pan and stir it all together. This works much better when both elements are hot. Chop up your choice of scallions, carrots, and roasted peanuts, add them to the mixture, and stir until all is well incorporated. You could also use things like chopped cabbage, daikon, greens, or whatever floats your boat. I like to use at least two or three scallions, if nothing else. Scallions give the whole business an awesome green sharp kick.

Now you have two choices. You can either eat the rice as is, which is delicious and hot and perfectly acceptable, or you can refrigerate it for a couple hours, then fry it up in cakes.

To fry the cakes themselves: once your rice business is good and cold, shape it into patties the size of your palm. This amount of rice should make about eight good-sized cakes. Coat the cakes in a little flour, and fry them on medium-high in a touch of oil. They will sizzle very nicely. Try not to move the cakes unless you have to; they’re less likely to fall completely apart that way. After four to five minutes, flip the cakes over. The undersides should be a lovely golden brown. Fry another 3 or so minutes, until the opposite sides are seared.

If you so desire, you can make a further peanut dipping sauce for your cakes by whisking together some broth, peanut butter, and a higher proportion of soy. But I find the cakes are fine fine by themselves, with maybe a vinegary sharp cabbage salad device on the side. Slap them down and eat them up.