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japarancini

Posted Jun 01 2010 12:00am

The bad titles and fusion cooking continues. More and more, I am coming to the conclusion that Italian and Japanese foods were meant to be melded together. In my kitchen they have a tendency to end up in the same dish.

So, you take your leftover brown rice, and your leftover stewed okara, and you mix them together, smooshily, with some glutinous rice flour and some flax meal, and then bake them. You end up with japanesey rice balls along the same lines as arancini (leftover risotto balls), except vegan. And not fried. And dare I say pretty damn healthy and low-fat and yummerific to boot. Okay, so it's not much like arancini at all except in shape and leftover ricey gooey goodness. This is a way to use leftovers, so all the amounts are approximate. My stewed okara had fancy-pants mushrooms, green beans, and carrots. I learned to make okara stew from , but I more or less wing it now because it's a dish I make so often. I've linked to a free online recipe if you need to get an idea of what I'm talking about.

2-3 c cooked short grain brown rice, cooled
1c leftover stewed okara with vegetables, cooked down until fairly dry.
1 tsp powdered dried porcini, optional (available at specialty Italian stores)
1 tbs or more white miso
1/4-1/3 c glutinous rice flour (which you should have on hand at all times for emergency mochi making)
1 tbs flax meal in 2 tbs water, left to sit for 10 minutes
dash salt (I used truffle salt, because I am a decadent freak)

Mush everything together. Add more rice flour if it is too dry to stick together. Form into 4 large balls, about the size of oranges. This is where the name comes from. Yup. Place balls in silicone muffin cups, or just in a greased muffin pan. Then you have each japanarancini in its own little bowl and it can sit in your lunch box the next day and not get hurt. Of course, not all of you take your lunches to work, and not all of you bike, and in that case, you don't have to worry so much about preserving the structural integrity of your lunch while biking to work over cobblestones. But I do. So nyah. Bake the well-protected rice goodies at 200C for 20 mins. Cool. Take to work for lunch the next day and make your coworkers jealous. I took them to work with asparagus, red pepper and greens salad with yummy yuzu dressing, so it was a pretty winning lunch day indeed.
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