Being Chinese, my family eats a lot of rice. Most meals, there will always be steamed white rice. The only time rice doesn't show up at the table is if we're doing pasta or potatoes.
I don't eat the stuff quite as often now—perhaps because I'm so darn tired of seeing it. My parents find it funny that whenever they visit, my rice bucket always seems untouched since the last time they were here. Which is probably true. But when I do make rice, I cook a mix of brown and multigrain rice with just a bit of white mixed in there. If I'm going to each rice, it might as well be the type that's good for me.
So when I came across this recipe for Curried Wild and Brown Rice Cakes, I was instantly intrigued. It's a nice alternative to plain steamed white rice, and a healthier option to fried rice. The curry adds flavour to the rice cakes and gives it a little heat. These are great as a side dish, or easily make a hearty meal served with sauteed mushrooms and greens. Serve with a poached egg on top if you like!
This would also be equally delicious if they aren't cakes as well. Just skip the step about adding the flour and eggs and serve the curried rice as is as a side dish.
To make mine detox-friendly, I substituted the wheat flour with buckwheat and used ground flaxseed instead of an egg as a binder. During this detox, I've really been into chillies and raisins (which is strange considering I'm usually not a big fan—perhaps my body's way of coping with the fact that I can't consume sugar), so I threw in a bunch of raisins to add some sweetness.
Curried Wild and Brown Rice Cakes
Adapted from Food & Drink, Winter 2009
Makes about 6 to 8 cakes
1/3 cup wild rice
3/4 cup long-grain brown rice
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely diced sweet red pepper
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour
1 egg, beaten
Handful of parsley, finely chopped
Handful of cilantro, finely chopped
Handful of golden raisins, soaked and drained (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Rinse wild rice in a sieve under running water, stirring to make sure it is well rinsed. Drain and set aside. Rinse brown rice, stirring to make sure it is well rinsed, until water runs clear. Drain well and set aside separately.
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over high heat. Add wild rice and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt. Reduce heat and boil gently for 15 minutes. Stir in brown rice, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 45 or until wild rice kernels begin to burst open, brown rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Cove and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and spread out on a large baking pan. Let cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, heat half of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add green onions, garlic, red pepper, curry powder, cinnamon, cumin and remaining salt and sauté for about 3 minutes or until softened. Let cool slightly. Wipe out skillet.
Place about 1 cup of the rice in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher until slightly pasty. Add remaining rice, red pepper, raisins and herbs. Sprinkle with flour and stir in egg with a fork until evenly blended. Adjust the seasonings if needed. Divide rice mixture into 6 to 8 portions and shape with moistened hands into cakes about 3/4-inch thick. Place on a baking sheet.
Heat half of the remaining oil in a nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add rice cakes, in batches as necessary, and cook, turning once, for about 3 minutes per side or until browned on both sides and hot in the centre. Add remaining oil to the skillet between batches. Serve and enjoy!