I believe this was discussed on the podcast at some point, and maybe deep in the archives on the FB page, but does anyone have tips on how to keep your rice cakes from crumbling? I’m using sticky rice, but they continue to just fall apart on a ride.
Have you tried adding more water when cooking the rice? Upping the moister content of the rice should make it stickier and will have the added benefit of being even more digestible.
Also, how are you wrapping them? If you follow the wrapping method Skratch Labs provides, you won’t have to completely unwrap the rice cake to eat it.
I second DougJ. Just keep trying more and more water in the cooking. Rice is cheap, you can experiment. I think the first recipe for rice cakes in Allen Lim’s first cookbook may have had a typo for the water-to-rice ratio. Making cakes to that recipe results in rice that is way too dry. It may have been corrected in later editions, not sure.
Agreed to all of the above. I use Calrose and Sushi rice with a 1 C water / 1 C rice ratio. Works like a charm (in the rice cooker). Also, adding bonding materials like eggs, nut butter, etc. can help, depending on what flavors you’re going for
Plus press really really hard when pressing them. Then cool them.
From the Facebook post I made and responses to comments I had received:
Rice cakes made EASY! I’ll throw credit to Alan Lim for the base recipes and then I have modified as I saw fit.
For those wanting to do this get yourself a good rice cooker that is decent size. 4-6 cups makes life much quicker if you are making big batches. I use the Panasonic one, white and silver. Thing is bomb proof and easy to clean.
Buy the feed zone portables book for all the cool recipes. I’ll put what I do below for chocolate rice cakes:
Into rice cooker
2 cups jasmin rice - Costco sells 5kg bags works great
1L of water
Dash of sea salt
1tsb brown sugar
Dash of vanilla extract
Let that cook
Once done and sat for 15min steaming
Into a big bowl:
your cooked rice from the cooker
1 big table spoon of coconut oil
1 table spoon Nutella
Dashes of sea salt for flavour
Mix it all up.
NOW THE PRO TIP TO GET THIS STUFF PACKED TIGHT SO IT IS DENSE…
don’t use a pan. Grab a cheap freezer ziploc. Pack that mixed up rice which you have mixed very well, into that bag. Squeeze it down into the ends and pack it into a 2” thick brick. Fill in the corners and squeeze that down.
Fold over the open end to squeeze the air out. Take your warm brick of rice in a bag, slide a cutting board underneath and throw in the fridge to cool for 3-5 hours.
Once done take it out, take a knife and cut the edges of the bag off. Cut your squares and voila. Takes 10min tops. Wrap with Costco jumbo size parchment paper you’ve cut to size.
I also do the bacon and scrambled egg with Tex mex spices and salt if I want savoury. Super easy as well. Very cheap.
Pics below. For bagging and wrapping process.
EDIT: Had a few PM’s so I’ll address here -
Re: Coconut - use as prescribed above and see how it works for you, with rice cakes nothing is set in stone, its all about individual preference and taste.
Re: Wrapping paper - see that cutting board in the background with the knife photo? I just wrap the parchment paper around it multiple times (10-15x) and then run a knife down one edge to cut in half, then cut the other side along the long edge. With your now 20-30 sheets, you simply cut in half again to make squares that are the perfect size for wrapping up.
Re: Rice - I’ve bought expensive stuff before but honestly that kirkland jasmin rice works just as well and its cheap. the ratio of rice to water is important, you don’t want too dry coming out of the cooker or they won’t hold together. 1/2L for each 1Cup of dry rice.
Re: Bagging - using a big rice spoon and really mixing that stuff up in the bowl will help get the rice mixer more dense. Then its just a matter of getting it into the bag and packing down. It’s very easy to do while the rice is warm. Don’t overthink it.
Unwrapping rice cakes annoys the hell out of me. I ended up wrapping the savory versions in some nori and the sweet versions in edible rice paper. Works like a charm and you can eat the wrapping.
Before someone asks the question - I never had a problem with a rice cake wrapped this way making a mess in my jersey pocket.
This. Plus extra tip, use a WET spoon to press it down, then it won’t stick to the rice mixture.
I had good experiences with starch. I make the cakes with a lot of liquid and so my problem wasn’t that they were crumbling but that they were so soft and sticky. So I cut them and dredge them in starch.
No crumbling, so problems on transport.
That looks like a good base recipe. Can the rice cakes be frozen? Making a big batch would be great for saving time and money, but i only get through a few a week.
They can but note that it will dry them out. So if your plan is to freeze them make sure they are a little more moist than normal (ie. dont let it sit in the rice cooker for too long after it has cooked) and then bag it right away in air tight bag or container. They’ll defrost and be good but they wont last more than 2-3 days after defrost before they get too dry.
I heard that freezing rice cakes effects the texture of the rice, are they still nice after being frozen? My main reason for sticking to oat based bars so far has been A) paranoia about cooked rice causing food poisoning and B) under the impression that the rice isn’t good post freezing.
Take some rice, pack it together, freeze it. See what you think.
When rice spoils, it is generally REALLY obvious.
I be frozen some rice cakes and let them in the freezer for weeks. Maybe month. No problem. It’s a rice cake.
What’s the shelf life when refrigerated? Thanks for the detailed info
Shelf life is two+ weeks if you keep it in an airtight tupperware once wrapped up in parchment paper.
Regarding freezing: you can freeze for as long as you want, my comments about how long they last are once you DEFROST them and how quickly they then start to dry out after.
A generell advice: in the summertime I take right from the freezer on a ride. The defrost quickly enough to eat and keep my back cool. A bit.
Freeze may make it a bit more crumbly but wont ruin the flavor.
@konradkowara some nori and the sweet versions in edible rice paper
This is a really, really good idea. I’m going to do this next spring when I get to ride outside again.
100% agree with the packing in ziplock method. I almost gave up on rice cakes until I discovered this technique and now I make a small batch almost every week.