I don’t really recall eating much rice before I was thirteen. It was then that I had my first delicious bites of Chinese takeout (strangely, in Disneyworld). My sister and I were hooked, so suddenly, stir fry became a regular meal in our household. My dad would bust out a giant wok, a pound of chicken breast, and a smattering of stir fry vegetables, and within minutes the house would fill with the sounds and smells of the quickly cooking meal.
Rice, too, was always part of these week-night stir fries. And it was the rice that yielded the best leftovers, because the following morning, dad would make rice cakes.
Rice cakes, as I grew up with them, are not comparable to the puffy, crunchy discs of rice you can buy at the store. These rice cakes are rather more like pancakes, cooked in a frying pan and slathered with butter and maple syrup to make a scrumptious breakfast.
Whether you make your rice for stir fry, curry, or something like this, make a little extra and you can set yourself up for a week’s worth of awesome breakfasts.
Aside from the rice, all you need to get cookin’ are a few eggs, some salt, and oil for pan-frying. What’s great about this recipe is that it can be expanded or reduced to almost any quantity of leftover rice: 1 1/2 cups rice needs one egg and a pinch of salt.
Then, as with pancakes, the mixture is gently shaped into discs to pan-fry until golden brown on each side.
This breakfast is filling but light, savory but sweet, and definitely the most delicious way I can imagine using up leftover rice. You could even cook a batch of rice with the sole purpose of making these rice cakes. But I suppose they would not officially be leftover rice cakes… scandalous!
Inspired by childhood breakfasts from Dad
Makes 9-10 four-inch rice cakes
Note: This recipe can be expanded or reduced based on the quantity of rice you have on hand. The basic ratio is 1 1/2 cups of rice to one egg to 1/8 tsp salt.
3 cups cooked white rice
1/4 tsp salt
canola oil for frying
Add enough oil to a large frying pan to coat the bottom and place over medium heat. While the pan is warming, use a fork to break of any clumps of rice. Then, add the eggs and salt to the rice and mix well until rice grains are fully coated.
Once oil is glistening, spoon the rice mixture into clumps in the pan and gently flatten and shape until each is about 1/2″ thick and 4″ in diameter. I was able to cook four cakes at a time in a 12″ frying pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes, undisturbed, until edges are beginning to brown. Use a spatula to carefully flip each rice cake and cook the second side for 3-5 minutes. Once both sides of the cakes are golden-brown, remove the rice cakes to a plate lined in paper towels. If needed, add more oil to the pan and continue making rice cakes until all of the mixture has been used.
Serve rice cakes as you would pancakes, with butter and maple syrup.