Fried Rice Cakes with Creamed Leeks and Egg


My interpretation of the 3-ingredient challenge was not quite on the mark with Pepin’s scallops on spinach with walnut sauce. Please consider this as a redo for the current IHCC mystery box challenge. This recipe should do it: Fried rice cakes with creamed leeks and egg from Totam Ottolenghi. (The recipe, shown below, is listed on his website here.) The three ingredients that’ve met the challenge are: rice, gruyere, tarragon and — an extra one to boot, capers.

This recipe is perfect when you have leftover rice, for a light meal or a side dish anytime of the day. Gruyere adds savoriness to the rice cakes without overpowering the other ingredients. Leeks are more subtle and refined than onion, linked with gentle, even genteel cooking, such as chilled vichysoisse in a fine china bowl of yesteryear. On the other hand, leeks are a little more demanding to work with. They collect grit between its layers as it grows. No other vegetable needs the attentive cleaning in the sink. Opening and discarding the outer layers, slitting the leek down its length like a fan and swishing it around under the tap can be therapeutic at times. Other times, I buy trimmed leeks from Trader Joe’s. Steamed and softened in butter at moderate to low heat, their flesh should remain pearlescent. A leek scorched is a leek ruined. Browned leeks do not taste right, so be gentle. Leeks are very pleasing, especially with eggs. Creamed leeks make a fine dish, taking on a welcoming rustic note. They are my favorite bite of the dish.

Frying and flipping little rounds of rice patties can be tricky. I added more eggs so that they held together a little better. Or use rice that’s more moist than dry. Getting the eggs right is a whole story in itself. I’ll leave that later for a featured egg dish. Together with rice cakes and creamed leeks, the egg brought it all home and gave the dish structure. The runny yolk a little theatric.

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  • Reply
    Joyce Rachel Lee-Bates
    April 16, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Oh ya Yotam Ottolenghi. I haven't cooked any of his dishes before. Thanks for his website's link. This fried rice cakes look so good!

  • Reply
    kitchen flavours
    April 19, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    I never had fried rice cakes like this! Looks delicious! And I like the egg over the rice cakes, looks really yummy! Another wonderful dish with MBM ingredients this month!

  • Reply
    April 20, 2015 at 1:43 am

    We are not overly strict on the rules at IHCC and we always welcome substitutions! In fact, substitutions are welcome:) I love each of your dishes this week and both equally inspiring, but please know that either one would have been perfectly fine!

    Saying that, these fried rice cakes remind me of something my mom used to make with leftover rice when I was younger (in the age before the microwave). Nowadays we can reheat leftover rice in a microwave but back then making fried rice cakes was the only way to warm the rice. This version looks delicious. Very welcoming with the egg on top!

    Great job using the MBM ingredients!

  • Reply
    April 20, 2015 at 2:26 am

    Thanks Kim for explaining the rules and how we can have fun with substitutions. Knowing that, I would have just made the steamed scallops, but I'd have missed making the fried rice cakes. The dish really came together with the egg on top. All and all, I had fun!

  • Reply
    Deb in Hawaii
    April 21, 2015 at 3:51 am

    Yes, as Kim said your first dish was more than fine but I am glad you made this one because you introduced me to a great new recipe. I love everything about these fried rice cakes from the creamy leeks to the egg on top. Yum! Great job with both recipes! 😉

  • Reply
    April 21, 2015 at 4:30 am

    Thanks, Deb. I agree that the fried rice cakes is not the kind of dish you'd normally think about. If I was not looking into its ingredients, I'd have easily overlooked the dish. The MBM challenge forces us, somehow, to look outside of the box. Fantastic!

  • Reply
    Joanne T Ferguson
    May 3, 2015 at 5:44 am

    What an interesting and unusual recipe and glad we met through the Mystery Box Madness: April 2015! via IHCC too! Cheers! Joanne

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