Crispy sushi-rice cubes
- 500g sushi rice, rinsed in cold water 3 – 4 times
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 60ml (¼ cup) black sesame seeds, toasted
- vegetable oil, to deep-fry
- 80ml soya sauce
- 80ml water
- 5ml (1 tsp) mirin/dry sherry
- 5ml (1 tsp) rice vinegar
- 30g butter
- potato flour, to dust (available at most health stores)
- pea shoots, to garnish
Place the rice in a medium pot with a tight-fitting lid and add cold water to reach about 3cm above the rice. Cover and bring to a boil. As soon as the rice starts to boil, turn the heat as low as it goes and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and leave the pot covered to continue steaming for a further 15 minutes.
Tip the rice out into a shallow dish and fan it to speed up the cooling process. When the rice is lukewarm, add the spring onions and sesame seeds and mix thoroughly.
Split the rice into three batches. On a sheet of cling film, shape a batch of rice into a rectangle, about 3cm thick. Wrap the rectangle tightly and use a sushi mat to shape it and squash it thoroughly into a tidy rectangle with nice sharp edges. Repeat with the remaining rice. Refrigerate the wrapped rice rectangles to chill, at least 2 hours.
Unwrap the rice rectangles and cut into 3cm cubes.
Heat the oil in a deep pot or deepfryer to 190°C.
In a small pot over medium heat, combine the soya, 80ml water, mirin or sherry and rice vinegar and bring to a simmer. Stir in the butter until it has all melted.
Lightly dust the rice cubes with the potato flour so they don’t stick together during frying. Deep-fry the rice cubes in batches until lightly brown. Drain on paper towel.
Serve the crispy rice cubes garnished with pea shoots and with little bowls of the hot, buttery soya alongside for dipping.
Sushi rice is sticky, so wetting your hands when shaping the rice cubes will minimise stickiness. Keep dipping your knife in water when cutting the cubes.