Tips To Wrap Rice In Bacon
Rice is a very versatile ingredient and it combines particularly well with bacon. Rice cakes are wrapped with meat or bacon and they are very popular appetizers that are served in Korean-themed restaurants and pub. Several variations of the basic recipe exist. Asian-inspired rice cakes are steamed and then wrapped with any variety of bacon and served on a toothpick.
The bacon n’ rice wraps are usually served with a range of sauces like ponzu sauce and fresh salads.
How to Make Bacon Wrapped Rice?
1.Making the Rice Center
Traditionally, rice cakes are made by soaking raw rice in water for a few hours. The rice is then ground and steamed in a steamer. The rice cake is then sliced into small cubes and seasoned before wrapping. However, this is a very labor intensive process.
A simpler process is to steam a mixture of rice flour, rice semolina and water to make rice cakes.
Another variation that is popular is called longtong where rice is boiled till it is partially cooked and then wrapped tightly into a banana leaf. The roll is steamed again for 90 minutes to make a rice roll which can then be cut into pieces for the stuffing.
You can also mix rice flour with water, sugar and salt. Microwave on high for 3 minutes and you will get hot sticky dough that has to be pounded for five minutes.
One easy version is to use sticky rice or pearl rice. This rice can be steamed or boiled to create soft glutinous rice that is easy to compress to form a rice cake .
If this is too difficult for you, you can use ordinary rice and then over cook it. Compress the sticky mixture to form rice cakes. Season the rice with any variety of sauces, herbs, cheese or spices. Set them aside to chill for twenty minutes and to firm up. Remember to press the rice grains together firmly or the cake will fall apart during the cooking process.
2. Selecting the Bacon
You can use any variety of bacon for this roll. However, we feel that it is better to use streaky bacon or bacon which is available in the form of strips as the rice cakes will absorb the fat and flavor. You can also use low-fat, sodium-free bacon, turkey bacon or vegetarian bacon as alternatives. Precook the bacon and season it. Set it aside for wrapping.
3. Preparing and Serving
Before wrapping, the rice, gently test a single rice cake that you have made by pressing gently on it. They should compress slightly but it should not fall apart in your hands. Wrap each bite-sized rice cake with the bacon and secure the bacon with a toothpick. Brush the roll with a sauce or season the roll well. Grill the bacon wrapped rice roll and serve hot immediately. In Korean pubs or fast food joints, these bacon and rice wraps are served with ponzu sauce, teriyaki sauce or chili sauce.
Making the rice roll is the most difficult part of the process. However, readymade rice cakes are available in the fresh food section of most Korean supermarkets or Asian food stalls.
Bacon wrapped rice cakes are very popular as pub snacks in Korean themed restaurants. They are easy to prepare as chefs prefer to use readymade rice cakes like mochi etc to make the dish. Do you make rice n' bacon wraps at home? If you have a simpler method of making this dish, do let us know about it.