Thursday, 15 September 2016

Vegan Rice Balls: 3 WAYS

Last week I tried Meatless Monday for the first time. I've been meaning to do it for a while, actually, but with everything else in life, it just fell to the wayside. So glad I finally took the plunge and stopped eating meat for a whole day. I didn't stop at meat, too—I decided to go vegan for a day. I know, it ain't a big deal, but it actually surprises me how much meat and animal-related products I eat in a day—cheese and I have this amazing love affair, so yeah. Needless to say, last Monday didn't go so well, because everything went quite unplanned and everything I cooked tasted rather bland—though I didn't find myself hungrier than usual, mind you. So for this month's recipe, I thought to come up with a simple yet tasty vegan dish for all the coming Mondays. Hopefully, this could help out other vegans out there who are looking for something new to pack for lunch—yes, I'm looking at you, Rezy.

Ingredients 
  • 150 gr rice, cooked
  • 1/4 cup water
  • salt and sugar, to taste
  • vinegar, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1-2 sheets toasted seaweed (optional)
Sautéed Mushroom filling
  • 6 champignons
  • 1/2 regular onion
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and sugar, to taste
  • flour (optional)
  1. Slice the champignons and dice the onion
  2. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and pour the onion in
  3. Once it starts to have a nice fragrance, add in the mushroom
  4. Let the mushroom shrink and soften before adding the salt and sugar
  5. If the mushroom oozes out water, add a bit of flour to thicken the mixture
  6. Remove from heat once you get the texture and taste that you want
Tempe Penyet filling
  • 100 gr tempeh
  • 3 chilies
  • 1/4 tomato
  • 1 clove shallot
  • cooking oil to fry the tempeh
  • salt + sugar, to taste
  • a bit of water
  1. Chop the chilies and slice up the tomato
  2. Together with the shallot (and salt + sugar), grind them until they are smooth and well-mixed
  3. Heat up a pan and sauté the mixture a little bit in it then remove from heat
  4. Slice up the tempeh into a few pieces and dip it in a mixture of water and salt
  5. Get the oil ready in a pan/wok and, once it's hot, slide in the tempeh
  6. Remove the tempeh from the oil once it's crispy and golden
  7. Put the tempeh and chilli mixture on a plate and crush them with pestle or wooden spoon until they are well-mixed and smooth
Vegetable filling
  • 1 cucumber / 1/2 zucchini
  • 1 medium-sized carrot
  1. Cut up the cucumber/zucchini julienne and remove the seeds
  2. Peel the carrots and cut it up the same way
  3. Put the carrots in a bowl and steam it until it's soft
  4. Mix them all together (optional: you may add salt, pepper and other seasonings here)
To make the rice balls

  1. Prepare the water and add in the salt, sugar and vinegar, to taste, then mix well
  2. Pour the mixture into the rice and mix well
  3. Cup your hand and put 2 table spoons of rice in it
  4. Add with the filling of your choice and add more rice
  5. Cup both of your hands to form the rice until it has a nice triangular shape
  6. For the tempeh penyet, I would recommend adding the sesame seeds to the rice before forming the shape
  7. For the vegetable, I would recommend wrapping it with nori to add more taste
  8. Put them in a lunch box and ready to go!

Tips: If you're not using rice cooker to cook the rice, please remember to stir it every now and then to keep it from burning. This recipe works best with newly cooked rice. Keep in mind not to steam the carrot for too long, or it will lose its vitamins. I used a template to form the rice balls' shapes here, but if you find it difficult to use your bare hands, you can use plastic covers (or banana leaf, for a more eco-friendly variety) or rubber gloves (to protect your hands from the heat of the rice).   I would actually recommend using the gloves at all times. Alternatively, you can simply pack them in a lunch box without forming them. Perfect for an on-the-go meal! Lass es euch schmecken!


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