brown rice cakes with pork and scallions

savory brown rice cakes

I made a white rice version at Yobo’s place a week prior to making these, and they were super delicious, but… I didn’t have my camera with me. When I was finally food blog ready, I didn’t have any white rice with me, so I used brown rice instead. It was definitely a challenge to make these rice patties into actual fry-able cakes, because brown rice is not glutinous the way white rice is. But I made it work! And they are just as tasty, if not healthier for you!

The best thing about this recipe is that you don’t HAVE to use pork, and you don’t HAVE to use any of these ingredients (except for the rice). And, if you didn’t feel like making these into fried rice ball cakes, you could just fry them all together and have fried rice. Just tweak to your desires.

I used:

  • 3 cups of brown rice
  • 1 cup of green onion, chopped
  • 1 cup of chopped pork (I used pork shoulder)
  • 1/2 vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 tablespoons of oil, for frying your meat and veggies
  • 1/3 cup of chopped shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup of shredded carrot
  • 3 tablespoons of garlic (bec i heart gahlick)
  • drizzles of soy sauce (eyeball it)
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Fry the pork with a little oil, salt, and pepper. You can fry this as done as you want. I like my meat to have a little bit of crust.

Add your soy sauce, mushrooms, garlic, carrots, and green onion. Stir fry until fragrant at medium heat.

Remove from heat. Add rice and stir fry in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.

Add the parmesan cheese (you could use finely shreddedΒ mozzarellaΒ too, but make sure it’s a binding type of cheese, so no ricotta!)

Add the egg, and mix well. (I forgot to take a picture, sorry!)

Have a bowl of cornstarch ready. Use your hands to make appropriate sized balls of the rice mess you made and gently coat with the cornstarch.

Heat a pan with the remaining oil at medium high heat (or higher if you’re not using a nonstick) , and fry your rice ball cakes until they are crispy on both sides.

LET’S EAT!

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Hummus…and lessons learned

Woohoo, first legitimate food post AND I’m blogging on a really bad day. (More on that here.) Anyway, the one thing I really love about cooking is what a great learning experience it is. Once you master a base recipe, you can tweak it here and there and personalize it to your own fine tastes.

I’d definitely have to say that hummus is UP there with the top 20 things I like to eat, and I eat a lot. That said, I make hummus frequently, BUT I just learned the secret earlier this year to making it perfect (for me). This might be a “secret” that a lot of home cooks know already, but I feel really proud to have picked it up somewhere in the blogosphere, and now I can boast about my own hummus recipe. (P.S. The BEST hummus I’ve ever had was at this humble establishment.)

Here we go:
Well, I omitted lemon juice, because I didn’t have any, and I forgot to pick some up. If you have lemon juice, I highly recommend using it as it will definitely punch up the hummus. But it’s still quite tasty without it!

BOIL YOUR GARBANZO BEANS!!!!!!!!!!

This was the big secret. All this time I’d been doing the blending of the garbanzo beans without boiling them. Schiesse! Boiling the beans actually helps you blend them more quickly and smoothly. It also affects the flavor of the beans by breaking down the outer wall. BOIL YOUR BEANS!

Hello. This is my thumb. And that’s my prized immersion (also called stick) blender. After you’ve boiled your beans for about 25 minutes, drain them, and place them in a bowl with about 6 tablespoons of EVOO. If you have a food processor, you can gradually drizzle this in, but I find that this technique is just as efficient. Add your roughly chopped garlic (as many cloves as you like; I used 3), and. . .

Blend. Blend. Blend. To a smooth consistency.

Voila! This is the end product, and I’ve already transferred it to a prettier bowl and sprinkled some smoked paprika on top.

Hummus can be eaten cold or warm. Don’t forget your pita bread (pictured above with garlic and parsley)!

Note: Hummus can be garnished with anything: olives, extra EVOO, pine nuts, parsley, paprike, fried shallots, boiled chickpeas…anything!

LET’S EAT! ^__^
Lessons I’ve learned since making this:
– Take better food pics during the daytime, and not in a yellow-lit kitchen.
Also, very special thanks to my awesome sister Elaine for taking these pics with her camera and being my impromptu food stylist!