Here in Hawaii, rice is a staple in our diets. Monday is “brown rice day” at our Waldorf Kindergarten and it is served with a splash of tamari and a sprinkling of seaweed. To make an on-the-go whole grain, gluten free snack for my kids, I sometimes make brown rice cakes, or musubi (as the Japanese call them). They’re really simple to make and my kids like that they’re a small size–just for them–and in fun shapes.
There are many brown rice cake molds that you can buy in any Japanese store and I even saw one in Target the other day. You don’t need any special molds however. Hands are the best tool to make the classic triangle shaped rice cake.
Make sure that you use freshly made, HOT rice to make sure that the rice holds together. Also, add at least 1/2 teaspoon of salt (or even more to taste) to two cups of cooked rice. You can also add seaweed flakes (furikake) for flavor and color.
Almost every household in Hawaii has a automatic rice cooker and that’s definitely the easiest way to cook rice. If you don’t have a rice cooker though, here’s a simple recipe that I grew up making. If you have time, soak the brown rice in water overnight or for a few hours. It will give your brown rice a softer texture. (see recipe below)
* 2 cups organic brown rice
* 3 cups water
1) Rinse rice thoroughly with water. (some rice packages say that you don’t need to rinse, but I always rinse rice really, really well)
2) Drain rice well and in 3 cups fresh water. Let soak (if possible) for up to 4 hours or overnight.
3) Put on maximum heat and bring to full boil with lid off.
4) Immediately turn to medium heat (to maintain slow boil) and put lid partially on. Continue to cook until most of the water is absorbed into the rice. (approx. 15-20 minutes)
5) Cover pan and turn heat to low. Let steam at low for an additional 15 minutes.
6) Stir rice gently to separate rice grains and use immediately to make rice cakes.