Trying to figure out the Rubik’s cube was always a puzzle and one I never quite managed to solve, however, looking at my new culinary gadget… this bright red cube looked like something I could master. When family and friends know you love kitchen gadgets, it’s inevitable you will receive them as gifts. My lovely daughter thought the Rice Cube looked really cool (I believe the shop had a video demo running in the background) and decided to buy me one… or maybe it was a big hint to make sushi.
Invented by an Australian cook Ross Patten to impress the judges at a Master Chef audition, the Rice Cube is used to mold rice and other soft foods into bite-sized portions. I love stylish presentation and am definitely sold on the idea of tasty square morsels of rice. Information about the Rice Cube is found on the official website, which has recipes and ideas if you plan on buying one.
The first recipe that came to mind was an appetizer I make for casual entertaining, cooked rice rolled into balls and served with a coriander chilli dipping sauce. Jasmine rice is naturally sticky and when compressed and molded, holds together without falling apart. Using the Rice Cube with this recipe seemed a good place to start.
Working with the Rice Cube felt a little awkward at first but I soon got into the rhythm after molding a few squares which looked so neat. This could be the start of a new obsession… a square one!Some notes: Use a good quality peanut butter when making the dipping sauce, I used a peanut butter (made by Neshat) that I had bought from a farmers market in Bahrain, which tastes so good. When cooking the rice add salt to the water, otherwise the rice will taste bland. The rice cubes or rice balls and dipping sauce can be made a couple of hours in advance, covered and stored in the refrigerator. If you are not a fan of fish sauce season the dipping sauce with some sea salt instead. Grilled prawns also taste delicious with this dipping sauce.
Rice Cubes with Coriander Chilli Dipping Sauce
- 4 cups of freshly cooked Jasmine rice (makes about 20 rice cubes)
- 2 cups chopped coriander, (leaves, stalks and roots)
- 2 small garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 1 or 2 small red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoons of roughly chopped spring onion (green part)
- 1/4 teaspoon lime zest
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 100ml creamy coconut (homemade or canned)
- 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon of fish sauce (approximately)
- toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
How to make: If using the Rice Cube just follow the instructions. Molding by hand; when the cooked rice is cool enough to handle, gently compress small bite-sized portions of rice with your hand and roll into a ball, you will need to dampen you hands with a little water when doing this. Keep the molded rice covered at all time otherwise it begins to dry out. Garnish the rice squares or balls with the sesame seeds before serving.
For the dipping sauce, add the coriander, garlic, chilli, spring onion, lime zest, lime juice, coconut milk and peanut butter into a food processor or blender. Process all the ingredients together until smooth. Pour into a suitable container and season with fish sauce to taste. Cover and store in the refrigerator until needed.
Keep an eye out for more square recipes 🙂