Do you have any leftover rice? Incorporate it into these crispy donuts, inspired by Korean pancakes



A few evenings a week, my dinner preparation begins to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. The rice cooker comes alive, its reassuring song ensures that whatever happens in the next 45 minutes, at least there will be perfectly cooked rice.

I see rice as an anchor food, something to build a meal around. When I’m sick or sad, a big pat of butter is the only garnish I need. When I’m tired and exhausted, I might add a fried egg and a dollop of crunchy chili. When I have more energy, it’s a side dish of Vietnamese braised pork, the base of a salad or a complement to a homemade chicken soup.

And when I open the fridge the next day and my eyes light up on a container of leftover rice, I know what I’m going to do.

These rice fritters are inspired by Korean pajeon, pancakes made from grated vegetables bound by a paste of flour, water and egg. Rice flour is often used for dough, but cooked rice is usually not added; often it is served with pajeon (Pennsylvania means shallot in Korean). But I do like to incorporate rice for a day – it’s a great way to use it, and it makes the pancakes even more filling.

For my donuts, I make a dough with all-purpose flour, a beaten egg and ice water, seasoned with salt and pepper, and brick red gochugang (Korean red chili paste). I add grated carrots and add green onions in two forms – white and light green parts thinly sliced, dark green stems cut into 1 inch lengths. Next, I stir in cooked and cooled rice and finely chopped kimchi, with a little kimchi brine.

This is, of course, just a template – you can omit the gochugang and kimchi, if you’re not a fan of spices, or add sauerkraut instead, as they do for State’s Savory Pancakes. Bird Provisions. You can use different vegetables depending on what you have on hand. Corn would be good (if frozen, thawed and patted dry), or kale or very thinly sliced ​​cabbage, or sautéed mushrooms or peas. And you can use brown rice instead of white, if that’s your thing.

These donuts can be eaten at any meal. Fans of savory breakfasts might prefer them to the maple variety, accompanied by a runny egg, and they heat up nicely in a toaster oven for a quick lunch. At dinner, a bunch of braised greens or a salad would make donuts a satisfying vegetarian meal, although they can also be served as a side dish with roast salmon, grilled chicken, or pork. And if you make them really small, they’re a nice little snack to have with a cold beer.

Jessica Battilana is a freelance writer and author of “Directory: All The Recipes You Need”. Instagram: @jbattilana Email: [email protected] Twitter: @jbattilana

Vegetable-Rice Donuts

Makes 8 large or 16 small donuts

1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon of fine sea salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons of ice water

2 tablespoons of kimchi brine (or extra water, if you forget the kimchi)

1 large egg, beaten

1 teaspoon of gochugang

1 cup cooked and cooled white or brown rice

1 bunch green onions, white and light green parts thinly sliced, dark green stems cut into 1 inch lengths

½ cup of grated carrots

?? cup finely chopped kimchi (optional)

Grapeseed oil or other neutral oil, for frying

Instructions: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and black pepper. In a measuring cup, whisk together the water, kimchi brine, egg and gochugang until blended, then pour into the dry ingredients. Stir with a rubber spatula until well combined. Stir in the rice, green onions, carrot and kimchi, if desired.

Arrange a cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet and place it nearby. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add a generous film of oil (a well-seasoned cast iron skillet can also be used). When the oil is hot, pour the batter into the pan, making donuts the size of your choice. Cook until the underside is golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook on the other side for a few more minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to the wire rack, then transfer the pan (and wire rack) to the oven to keep the donuts warm. Repeat with the rest of the batter, adding more oil to the pan if necessary. Just before serving, transfer to a dish and sprinkle with salt. Serve hot.

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