The Rice Cube
My local gourmet store had a demonstration of this handy device that takes plain sushi rice and presses it into spectacular little gourmet squares. The apparatus is simple and really just involves a sliding panel that fits into a cube base. You join the two pieces together, lift the hinged top and pack rice and chosen fillings into a well that is formed in the base. A simple squeeze and you can cube just about anything; risotto, polenta, potato, cheese, etc. The trick is to have a mixture that has enough starch or stickiness to hold your other ingredients together. I steamed some plain jasmine rice, let it cool, filled half of the well with rice and then followed with a couple of bits of pickled beets for color. I put a bit more rice on top and engaged the press to create a beautiful white and pink cube that slid easily out of the device once pressing was complete.
I placed the cube on an Asian spoon and topped it with a touch of kumquat. Dinner party guests were amazed by the surprise pre-dinner muse bouche which had a delightful sweet and sour taste. It took a bit of work to create the little brilliant bite-size bits, but it was well worth the oohs and ahhs. I’ve also experimented with brownies, fudge, and dried fruit. For once, it’s hip to be square. If your local shop doesn’t stock the Rice Cube, you can easily find it online thru a simple search. Suggested retail is $19.95.