Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sweet and Spicy Asian Tempeh Balls with Rice Cakes

Ever wonder what to do with leftover sushi rice? It's something that has gnawed at me. Sure, you can make another sushi roll with cobbled together items from the frig, but next day rice is just kind of hard and crunchy and not in a good way.

Knowing intuitively that I was not the only cook who had faced this conundrum, I googled my query and found the answer. Rice cakes! So simple to add a little flour and form into cakes and boom, repurposed, day-old sushi rice! Adding these tempeh balls with a sauce rounded out my meal. Easy Peasy!

Don't be scared off by the long list of ingredients, you can easily use a store bought Asian-style marinade; I'm just lazy and make sauces based on what's in my pantry. Use what you've got, make it easy on yourself!

Sweet and Spicy Asian Tempeh Balls with Rice Cakes (inspired by Hearty Vegan)
(serves 2)

1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon mirin
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger powder
pinch ghost chile powder or cayenne

Tempeh Balls
8 oz tempeh
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 cup water
1 egg
1 tablespoon of sauce (see above)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons spelt flour (or regular wheat flour)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
oil for frying

Rice Cakes
1 1/2 cup cooked sushi rice
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
oil for frying

Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat over low until flavor meld. Set aside.

In a pan with a lid add water, bay leaves and soy sauce and break up tempeh and bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover and cook 15-20 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and place tempeh in a bowl and break up with a fork. Add 1 tablespoon of sauce, ginger, garlic, flour and sesame oil and mash with a fork to combine well. Make balls with 1 tablespoon of mixture until all mix is used up.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan well. Fry balls until crisp on all sides, adding oil to keep bottom of pan coated. Remove balls to a sheet pan and keep warm in the oven at lowest temperature.

Combine rice and flour and form into cakes. Fry in oil in the skillet.

Toss balls with the sauce and serve with the cakes and spoon extra sauce over the top.


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