Crispy rice cakes – need I say more? Well, I will – spicy tuna topping!! I wish I could put into words how amazing this dish is! Well, I’m a “food writer” so I should be able to right?! The crispy rice cakes were so crunchy, they had a hint of saltiness to them when I fried them, and the middles were soft and almost a touch juicy – so good. Then, I topped them with the tuna tartar mixture. The flavor of the tuna was such a perfect balance between sweet and spicy, and the contrast of the soft texture versus the crispy rice cakes – it was absolutely perfect. Are you hungry yet?
I made these crispy rice cakes after I was inspired by a video I received via email, which you can see here. The original recipe was created by Chef Ralph Scamardella (the chef at Tao), and the video showing him creating these suckers is mouthwatering. I happened to watch the video on the same day I was throwing a dinner party for friends (I was in a very optimistic mood about how much I could do between the time I had work and everyone coming over), so I decided to give the recipe a try. After a few alterations, made mostly because of the ingredients I was able to find on such short notice, the recipe came out PERFECT.
Here is Chef Scamardella’s video, just in case your mouth wasn’t watering yet.
The recipe is actually very simple and there are shortcuts you can take. If you don’t want to/have time to make the sushi rice, simply pick some up from a sushi restaurant near you. Also, I made my rice cakes a bit larger which also is okay. Don’t be afraid to make these your own!
Please excuse my pictures! I was so disappointed I didn’t have any great pictures, but with all the company over it was hard to take really good photos! I am planning on making this dish again this weekend, and I will take better photos.
I found the ingredients at my local Asian supermarket, but you should be able to find everything at your local grocery store. The only thing I can think of that is harder to find was the gochujang, and you can buy it on amazon here!
- 2 cups of cooked Sushi rice (cooked according to instructions)
- 1½ cups grade A tuna, chopped
- 2 tsp. sesame oil (I like to use hot toasted sesame oil)
- 1 Tbsp. gochujang
- 2 Tbsp. kewpie mayonnaise
- 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbsp. Togarashi, to garnish
- Black sesame seeds, to garnish
- 1 Minced green onion, to garnish
- grapeseed oil, to fry the rice cakes in
- Cook sushi rice according to package instructions or click here for a sushi rice recipe.
- Chop tuna into tiny squares. In a small bowl, mix the tuna gently with the sesame oil, gochujang, kewpie mayo, and lime juice. Cover with saran wrap and set in the fridge.
- Lay rice out onto a baking sheet and level it out, forming a tight flat surface. Punch the rice out with a cookie cutter.
- In a large frying pan, heat the grapeseed oil (enough to fry the cakes in, a little less than ¼ inch high). Fry the rice cake patties until they are brown on each side, about 3-4 minutes, then set aside on a serving dish. Form Quenelles with the tuna mixture (use two spoons and scoop the tuna forming an oblong shape with it), and top the crispy rice cakes. Top with togarashi, black sesame seeds, and/or green onion to garnish.