I love avocado toast as much as the next person, but a lot of times that toast is just a delivery method for what I really want which is the avocado and whatever else is seasoning or accompanying it. So here I decided to give the avocado a much more fun and flavorful delivery method. Crispy rice and quinoa are much more my speed.
There are a few restaurants in NYC that serve, typically salmon sushi, on a crispy bed of rice. I have dreams about crispy rice. It's just the right amount of delicious, crunchy indulgence for me. When I see something on a menu served on a bed of crispy rice ..... the decision has already been made. I will be ordering that item.
The other night, Michael and I were going to stay home and cook in, but I was having a major craving for crispy rice, so I made crispy rice for the first time at home ...... and I'm afraid now that there is no turning back. It might become a new basic food group in our home.
For this recipe, I took it one step further and mixed in 1/2 quinoa, to up it's nutritional value a little. While these quinoa, sesame, rice cakes would be lovely along side a piece of fish (I served it with salmon the other night), I am really crushing on this version right here, simply topped with avocado, spicy mustard, and a few other goodies that can be adapted depending on what greenery you have in your fridge. I like to think of this as a gluten-free, crispy twist on everyone's favorite food. Perfect for snacking on your own, or for a party .... I actually plan on serving them this weekend at my oscar viewing get together.
avocado + crispy sesame, quinoa, rice cakes + spicy mustard
about 12 avocado topped rice cakes
for the crispy rice cakes:
1/2 cup of sushi rice, rinsed
1/2 cup of quinoa, rinsed (if not pre-washed)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 3/4 cups of water
2 tablespoons of brown rice vinegar
a couple tablespoons of sesames seeds or gomasio
a couple tablespoons of sunflower (or another neutral high-heat oil)
for the spicy mustard:
2 tablespoons of spicy dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of mayo (vegan or regular)
a pinch of cayenne pepper
a dash of worcester sauce (vegan or regular)
1/4 teaspoon of paprika
for the avocado + toppings:
2 ripe avocados, sliced legnthwise and then in half (+ a squeeze of lemon juice will keep it from turning brown)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
about 12 shiso leaves or watercress (optional)
a large handful of microgreens or sprouts (optional)
Prepare the rice + quinoa:
- Place the rice and quinoa in the same saucepan, add the water and salt, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, then turn the heat off and let it sit, covered, for another 10 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, prep the toppings, and make the spicy mustard:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the spicy mustard. Cover and place in the fridge until you're ready to assemble.
- Have all of your topping prepped and ready to go.
Once the rice is done cooking, shape it and fry it:
- Have a small bowl with water nearby to keep your finger wet in order to prevent the rice from sticking. Using an (approx) 2" square mold, if you have one, press the rice and quinoa mixture firmly into the mold (with damp fingertips) so they are about 1/2" high. If you do not have a square mold, you can also use a circle, or if you have no mold you can also just work them into whatever shape you like using your hands. I prefer using a mold because you can really get the rice to stick together and form a share easily, so if you're not using a mold make sure you use some force so they don't fall apart. Do this until all of the quinoa rice mixture has been formed. Sprinkle the tops with the sesame seeds, and press the seeds into the tops of the cakes so they stick.
- In a large cast iron, add enough oil so that it covers the bottom of the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add as many cakes as you can to the pan without overcrowding. Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown, and place onto a serving plate. You might have to do this in two rounds, and if so, then allow the pan to cool down slightly, wipe out any excess rice/quinoa bits, and add some more oil. This will prevent them from burning easily.
Assemble + serve:
- You can assemble them however you wish, but what I like to do is add a smear of the spicy mustard on top, first. Then, a shiso leaf (or watercress), then the avocado, and finished with the green onion and microgreens. Enjoy shortly after assembling.