Thursday, 22 October 2009

Spicy Rice Balls & Stir-Fry

This recipe is based on one by Betty Crocker from her book easy everyday Vegetarian. However, she makes rice balls as a meatball substitute, which didn't seem to work to me (carbs on carbs instead of a protein...). However, I thought rice balls would be a great spin to an Asian-inspired meal.
The spicy rice balls:
2 cups cooked rice (that's about 1 cup precooked of just ordinary white rice)
1/2 cup oats (I used standard porridge oats--non instant)
1 onion, chopped finely (or you can use any combination of onion, shallot, and green onion)
1 slice of bread, broken into breadcrumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
seasoning to taste (I added liberal sprinklings of black pepper, chilli powder, dried chillies, and paprika. I also added a pinch of cumin and ginger. It takes a lot more spices than you would think to make them spicy. You can also add a dash of soy sauce.)
outside topping (Betty says to use 1/2 cup of wheat germ, but I felt like it could be better. Instead, try a mixture of wheat germ, fine bread crumbs, and crushed peanuts.)
1. Mix all ingredients except for the outside topping. Form into balls.
2. Put the outside topping in a shallow bowl or other dish with sides. Roll the balls in it until they are lightly but evently coated.
3. Shallow fry the balls until the coating is golden coloured and they are piping hot through.
I served them on a vegetable stir fry.
Vegetable Stir Fry:
Courgette/Zuchinni cut into ribbons (I use a vegetable peeler to slice it)
Carrot (I like julienne type thin strips, but you can cut it in standard circles if you prefer. It needs to be cut quite finely though, or else it will take a lot longer to cook than the other ingredients.)
Spring onions, finely chopped
Peanuts, about a handful
Any other suitable vegetable you have on hand that needs using (peppers, mushrooms, etc.); you could also add chopped firm tofu
Spices (I used a pre-mixed seasoning mix that included lemon grass and coriander)
1 dash of lime juice
1. Heat oil in wok until it is steaming hot, or items sizzle when added. For extra flavour, use some sesame oil.
2. Add all of the vegetables and peanuts. Cook, stirring constantly, until the vegetables reach the desired level of tenderness.
3. Add the dash of lime juice and spices, stir in well.
I surrounded the whole thing with a peanut sauce that helped add some extra flavour and moistness and unify the dish.
My peanut sauce:
I can't give you exact amounts because I never measure it. Here's my guesstimates.
A generous glob of ketchup
A spoonful of honey
A dash of soy sauce
A dash of vinegar (I use malt, but you could also use rice vinegar or white wine vinegar)
A heaped spoonful of peanut butter (you can use smooth or chunky--it depends on what consistency you want your sauce to be)
A few drops of lemon juice
A glug of sweet chili sauce (chili and ginger relish also works well)
Taste it and make modifications according to taste. Mix well (I use a hand blender).
To serve:
Dish up the stir fry in the middle of the plate first, top with rice balls, and garnish with the sauce.

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