Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Sesame Rice Balls with Red Pepper Dipping Sauce (Page 36)

RECIPE #1156

  • Date: Monday, April 26, 2010 -- 7pm
  • Location: Berkeley, CA
  • Kitchen: Our Temporary California Home
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B+

I am trying to make some progress on the Hors D'Oeuvres and First Courses section of The Book. This recipe seemed like it could serve as a nice main course too, so I made it for dinner one night last week. I started by cooking some sushi rice, then tossing it with seasoned rice vinegar. I let the rice cool, and meanwhile made a mixture of wasabi paste and minced pickled ginger. I then shelled some edamame from frozen pods which had been thawed. There was then some complicated process by which I formed little rice balls with an edamame bean on top and a bit of the ginger-wasabi mixture inside. I sprinkled these rice balls with some toasted black sesame seeds. I served them with a dipping sauce I made by pureeing red bell pepper with seasoned rice vinegar and sugar, then simmering the mixture with red pepper flakes and straining. These rice balls were quite tasty, but also quite time-consuming to form. As with many appetizers, the time was all spent in the assembly. The rice was very sticky, so the procedure for assembling was a bit involved, requiring the rice balls to be wrapped several times in plastic wrap. The flavors were great though. The sushi rice was very nice, and the edamame added a bit of crunch. The ginger-wasabi centers provided surprising and potent bursts of flavor. I also found the dipping sauce to be delicious and it had a beautiful bright red color. Overall I enjoyed eating these rice balls quite a bit, but I will probably never make this appetizer for a big group, as the assembly was just too time-consuming.

The recipe is here.

Hello from Brooklyn! My special gentleman and I are traveling this week, and our first stop is Brooklyn. We had a surprisingly easy trip today. We flew direct, the plane was almost on time and not even close to full, and we had our own little movie screens (which I really like). Now we are staying with our friends Phil and Alex at their place in Brooklyn, which is extremely nice. The main purpose of our trip is for the wedding of my special gentleman's friend JR. The wedding is somewhere outside the city and there are wedding-related activities Thursday-Saturday, so we will head out to the suburbs on Thursday afternoon for a few days. On Saturday after the wedding brunch we will fly to Denver so I can attend my brother's fiance's bridal shower near Denver on Sunday. It should be fun. My parents will be out there too (my mom is also going to the shower) and my special gentleman and I will get to see our friends James and Laura who live in Denver. On Sunday evening we will fly back to San Francisco. I think the next few days will be a whirlwind, but in a good way! Lots of friends and celebrations! Tomorrow my special gentleman has promised me a personalized tour of New York City. He lived here for 4 years in graduate school, and I have been here only once before, for just a few days. So he is going to show me around. I am looking forward to it!

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