Bell Pepper Poke on Crispy Rice Cake

This dish is one that I used to make & love with ahi tuna. Now that our household no longer eats tuna though, I found myself craving it greatly one day and trying to find a substitute. It’s super easy & delish! You can make it both vegan or non-vegan with tuna, as appetizers!

Servings: 6-8 depending on how big you make your rice cakes
Time from start to plate: 30-40 minutes (with prep needed at least 2 hours beforehand to marinade)

1 cup of roasted bell peppers (soak these in water for about 20-30 minutes and then drain), diced

1/4 cup of soy sauce

1/4 cup of chopping green onions (chop these very thin)

1 cup of yellow onion minced

2-3 tsp of sesame oil

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 chili pepper, seeded and diced (BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN SEEDING)

salt to taste

2 tsp of sesame seeds

2 cups of sushi rice (you can prepare japanese short grain rice & season with Trader Joe’s seasoned rice vinegar to cheat or check out this awesome tutorial here)

Canola oil for frying

1/2 to 1/4 cup of macadamia nuts, crushed

This is how we do:
Either 2 hours before you’re ready to start assembling or the night before, prepare the marinade. In a bowl add all ingredients from the bell peppers to the sesame seeds and mix. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

After making the sushi rice, wet your hands to assemble the rice cakes. Wetting your hands is key as it prevents the rice from sticking to your palms. Scoop some rice onto your wet hands and form into patties. If you want to be super fancy and impress your friends, use a round or shaped cookie cutter to form the patties into clean/fun forms. Make sure to pack the cakes really tight otherwise it will fall apart when you fry. When you are done forming the patties, heat up some oil in a pan. Heat enough oil so that half of the cake is immersed. When the oil reaches 350 degrees, carefully drop a cake into the oil. You can test if the oil is ready by dropping a grain into the oil. If it starts to sizzle immediately the oil is ready. Fry on each side until brown (about 1 minute per side). Once the cake is browned and crispy, drain on paper towels.

On a plate, stack your cake together. Place a crispy cake, then top with some bell pepper poke. Add some macadamia nuts on top & eat! Nom nom nom!!


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