Rice Balls

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Only 4 more weeks to go, and counting, before master Andersson arrives. As with my previous pregnancies it's at this point that I impatiently wait their arrival as sleeping difficulties and general discomfort sets in... yoga is becoming a challenge!

Also wanted to share my latest obsession, Pinterest is it just me or does anyone else find it deliciously addictive. I find myself checking pins daily, there are so many that inspire me. And yesterday I picked up a copy of the first book in the Hunger Games trilogy, belatedly I might add but I am already hooked. I can't wait to see the movie.

Back to the Rice Balls, these are out of this world they taste so good. I love them cold with a huge bowl of greens and they also make great veggie burgers for the kids. It's not the quickest recipe by any means but persist and you will be rewarded with a wonderful macrobiotic meal. They can also be frozen for a future snack. If you live in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates like I do then you can pick up tempeh from The Organic Foods and Cafe at Masdar.

Rice Balls

Marinated Tempeh:
(best to begin this recipe 6-8 hours before to allow the marinade flavours to develop)
200g tempeh, diced
5 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 tbsp finely chopped spring onions
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup apple juice
1 1/2 tbsp tamari
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
pinch freshly ground pepper

Place the mushrooms and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat, cover with a lid and let sit for 30 minutes.

Strain the liquid into a bowl, squeezing the mushrooms well to extract all the juice. Discard the mushrooms. Combine the liquid with the remaining ingredients. Place half the marinade in a shallow dish large enough to hold one layer of the diced tempeh, add the tempeh and add the remaining liquid so that the tempeh is at least half covered. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 6-8 hours. However good results can be had with shorter marinating times.

When ready to use heat up 2 teaspoon of safflower oil in a frying pan and when hot add the diced tempeh. Cook until the tempeh is nicely browned. I usually add the rest of the marinade to the pan whilst it's cooking. Once all the liquid has evaporated, turn off the heat and leave to cool.

200g marinated tempeh
1/4 cup arame
Safflower or olive oil for frying
1/2 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 1/2 cups grated carrot
3 cups cooked short grain brown rice (from about 1 cup raw rice)
1/2 cup hulled sunflower seeds, finely ground
1 1/2 tbsp tamari
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 cup steamed, well drained orange sweet potato
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds plus extra for rolling

Soak the arame in a small bowl of water for about 15 minutes, then rinse and drain.

Heat a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and gently saute for 5 minutes. Add the carrot and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes, until soft.

Place all the remaining ingredients into a large bowl, and add the cooked carrot mixture. Knead well until it holds together. Form into balls and roll in sesame seeds.

Put about 1 cm oil in a frying pan over low-medium heat. Once hot, add the rice balls in batches and fry for 8-10 minutes, turning gently until the sesame seeds are golden. Drain on paper towels.

Reprinted with permission from Wholefood Copyright © Jude Blereau. (Murdoch Books, Australia, 2006)