In Korean culture, you’ll often find glutinous rice cakes cooked into stews and soups, but what you really want to keep your eye out for is when they’re served up for dessert. In the next few weeks I’ll be experimenting, and concocting every type of rice cake you can think of. Here’s my starter: an easy version made with orange veggies and lentils. Seasonally appropriate, these Halloween-inspired rice balls may look a bit like bon bons, but don’t be fooled! They’re actually pretty good for you.
Trick-or-Treat Rice Balls
Yields 20 rice balls
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ acorn squash, seeds removed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 cup split black and white lentils
2 cups water
salt to taste
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup shredded toasted seaweed laver, shredded
3 cups glutinous white rice, cooked
In a preheated oven at 350 degrees, place a tray lined with vegetable oil and acorn squash. Cook until very tender, about an hour. Remove from heat, and scoop out the squash with a spoon.
In a medium sauce pan, place olive oil and shallots, allowing them to cook until they are translucent without coloring them for about 3 minutes on low heat. Stir in lentils and deglaze with water. Continue cooking on medium heat for about 40 minutes until the lentils are tender but not mushy.
In a medium saute pan, add two tablespoons of olive oil and carrots. Saute for about 4-5 minutes in low heat until carrots are tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, add ¾ cup of rice, and ½ an acorn squash. Mix well with a spatula. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Form into small 1 ½ inch balls.
With the remaining rice, form into 1 ½ inch balls pressing firmly to compact the rice. Gently roll in mixing bowls filled with carrots, then squeeze in your palm to set the vegetables. Repeat steps for lentils and seaweed.
And then….. Boo! Enjoy.