Friday, August 08, 2008

Rice Burger

Here's another recipe courtesy of The Manga Cookbook:Rice Burgers! The top and bottom "bun" are made from leftover Japanese sticky rice, pressed together and cooked until firm.

I'll let the cookbook explain:
"Like the bread on a sandwich, rice patties can hold just about anything in between. For vegetarians, rice burgers are a godsend, since fast-food chains in Japan often serve them with only sautéed veggies in between."
We filled this burger with Tofurkey slices and topped it with two vegan cheese "sunshines".

Next to the rice burger are Eco-Planet Non-Dairy Organic Cheese Crackers. That's right -- VEGAN CHEESE CRACKERS, people!! Woo hoo! Now I won't have to make my own all the time.

In the top row are blueberries, carrots and Yumm sauce, and dried apple slices.

Verdict: I couldn't wait for shmoo to get home today so I could find out how his lunch was, because I must admit I was picturing the rice bun falling apart as he tried to eat it. "Did it work?" I asked him. "Were you able to pick it up and eat it just like bread?"

"YES!" he replied. "The rice held together good. Although I did eat the tofurkey first and then the buns." So there you have it, the perfect sandwich for all you gluten-freers! And the crackers are AWESOME; you would never guess you weren't eating a regular cheese cracker. 4 stars.

Well, everyone, have a great weekend! I hope you enjoyed this special summer camp week filled with new vegan lunches from the shmoo and me!


VeggieGirl said...

I DEFINITELY enjoyed this special summer camp week of lunches - keep 'em coming!! :0)

Amber said...

but the most important question... did he find a piece of the rice bun to call the "crust" and not eat?

Jennifershmoo said...

LOL! Actually, he didn't! He ate every bite.

selena said...

If you ever come to Japan, definitely check out the Kinpira Rice Burger at Mos Burger. So delicious, and vegan! Great in a pinch when traveling around Japan.

Mos Burger also uses local produce and writes on chalkboards the names of the farmers from whom they source their veggies.

WendyZ said...

I had never heard of a rice burger. You could fake burger it up with some sesame seeds on top while making it like Onigiri! heehee

Jennifershmoo said...

>>check out the Kinpira Rice Burger at Mos Burger.

Oooh, that looks yummy!

tofufreak said...

yay for vegan cheese crackers!!!! although i did enjoy making your goldfish.

i was just thinking about Mos when i saw this post! we had mos last year in taiwan. the idea really is quite ingenius. at mos, they pan fried the rice buns so that the outsides were slightly crispy. did the cook book mention anything about pan-frying?

Jennifershmoo said...

Yep, the rice buns are fried until firm. The book also mentioned you could add teriyaki or chili sauce to the pan to flavor the bun, but I kept it plain this time.

~Dawn said...

Please educate me: do the vegan crackers have Soy? My dd is soy & milk allergic and I'm always looking for options. Thanks! I'll have to check my local Whole Foods.

Michele Marques said...

I have that cookbook, butI couldn't get the rice to stick together enough to fry.... it kept falling apart. What's the secret?

Bianca said...

I...LOVE...THOSE...CRACKERS! I've got some at home now and I cannot stay out of them. I ordered them from Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe, so they came in a little broken up...but they still taste amazing!

Jennifershmoo said...

>>do the vegan crackers have Soy?

It doesn't look to me like they do, at least no obvious soy is listed in their ingredients. But they do contain "natural vegan cheese flavor", so you might want to check with the company:

Jennifershmoo said...

>>I have that cookbook, but I couldn't get the rice to stick together enough to fry.... it kept falling apart. What's the secret?

Was your rice cold? The cookbook doesn't say it, but just like when making onigiri/musubi it's better to use rice that's warm. It's stickier when warm and tends to dry out when it's cold. Also, were you using a variety of Japanese sticky rice? Other rices won't work. Other than that it's all press, press, press with your hands until it's densely packed.

TheNamelessQueen said...

Is it bad that I use the recipes your child will eat to feed my non-veg 22 year old roommate? In any case he IS a total Japanophile, so thanks for including vegan options from the Manga Cookbook. I had no problem making the rice burgers, and they were super tasty! You blog is truly inspirational, and without it we'd never be able to go on picnics with the same food again! I'm just not that creative when it comes to food other people will like!

MM said...

This isn't really germane to the Aug. 8 blog posting, but I couldn't figure out where else to ask it!

I just purchased The Vegan Lunchbox and am getting ingredients together so that I can make the recipes.

I have three questions:

1. I see that Kosher salt is called for in many recipes. Why Kosher salt -- is it special in some way? And until I do buy some, can I use regular Morton salt or Sea Salt?

2. Are any of the recipes freezable? Most are pretty time-consuming to make (at least from the standpoint of being a mom who works FT outside the home) so it would be much easier to make several lunches' worth of a recipe and freeze it for use later in the month.

3. How do you keep things from getting soggy in the lunchbox (btw I ordered a laptop lunchbox, should be here soon)? For example, carrots and berries are wet when put in the little cup, but with no lid, won't the entree get wet too (soggy bread or pastry is not very appealing!). And some of the recipes seem like the breading part will get damp after sitting in a lunchbox with blue ice for half a day.

Sorry for the long post. I hope Jennifer and/or some of you veterans can help!


Jennifershmoo said...

>>1. Why Kosher salt

Kosher salt is coarser and not as "salty" as some finer salts might be. If you want to use other salt go ahead, but you might want to cut back a little and then taste.

>>2. Are any of the recipes freezable?

Yes, I've frozen many of the recipes, especially the hand pies (unbaked, frozen on a baking sheet, then thawed and baked), baked goods (muffins, cookies, etc.) and soups.

Other items, especially the sushi rolls, really need to be fresh.

>>3. How do you keep things from getting soggy in the lunchbox

If something seems especially "wet", like melon or yogurt, keep it in the lidded container. Otherwise cover the container with plastic wrap and seal with a rubber band.

>>For example, carrots and berries are wet

I don't understand, why would carrots and berries be wet? If you rinse them right before packing, gently pat them dry with a kitchen towel. If you're still concerned, cover with plastic wrap as above.

>>And some of the recipes seem like the breading part will get damp

Pack those items with a paper towel underneath and cover with aluminum foil. Also, make sure the food has a chance to cool to room temp. or pack it cold so it doesn't sweat.

Hope that helps! Enjoy your Laptop Lunch Box! :-)

MM said...

Thanks so much!

(Despite what they say in their FAQs, I do wish the laptop lunchbox had covers for all the little containers -- seems so much more environmentally friendly than using plastic wrap, rubber bands, tin foil, etc. Maybe you could convince them to sell a set of lids for the other cups as an accessory!)

Jennifershmoo said...

I agree completely. I wish they all had optional lids, or at the very least that one of the side dish containers had a lid.

Even better, if the big lunch box lid were molded in such a way as to form and seal itself over each container more closely, food would not shift as much and you wouldn't have to worry about losing lids.

MM said...

Awesome idea of having the lid seal to the other containers... not only would it solve the need-lids problem, it would also solve the inevitable lose-those-little-lids problem.

You should write them and suggest that!

I can imagine that they'd just need to adhere a layer of a food-grade closed-cell foam or rubber lining to the inside top of the lid.

Lydia said...

These lunches- or at least the ones I've seen- look so delicious. I am a vegan and use a laptop lunch kit and I love the vegan cheese crackers!

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