When my dear friend, Patricia, invited me to take a cooking class with her at the Buford Highway Farmers Market. I immediately jumped at the chance because where else can you learn some new recipes, eat a fun dinner and get a $10 farmers market gift card – all for a total of $20. Seriously, the best deal in Atlanta.
The topic for that particular evening was “Chinese Drive-In Night” with Chinese Southern Belle. Which I found so fun because of the combinations of traditional American dishes made with some great Asian flavors. Burgers seasoned with green onions and ginger, burger buns made from rice, fries made from Korean Yams and cole slaw with Wasabi dressing.
The rice cakes immediately reminded me of these rice burgers that I saw while in Taiwan a few years ago. My brother and I saw them at a McDonald’s while playing tourists at Taipei 101. While I couldn’t stomach eating any McDonald’s, even overseas, my little bro ordered a rice burger and chowed down while I stared at the rice buns in amazement.
The rice cakes are wonderfully crispy on the outside and chewy, sticky goodness on the inside. I prefer to eat these burgers open face because as good as the sticky rice is, having two rice cakes with one burger is a bit too much rice, even for me.
P.S. Thank you SO much for your kind words about my new photography portfolio site. Lots of work went into putting it together, and yet, it’s still a work in progress! Thanks for the words of encouragement! Lord knows I need it right now! hehe
Salmon Burger (serves 4)
3/4 lb wild salmon, cut into small 1/4 inch (or smaller) cubes
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup panko, plus more for coating
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Mix all the ingredients together well in a medium mixing bowl. Form burger patties from 1/2 cup mixture each, flatten to about 1/4 inch thickness and coat each side with additional panko.
Grill or pan fry for about 3 to 4 minutes each side. Serve with below rice cakes and coleslaw.
Sesame Sticky Rice Cakes (makes 6 cakes) – adapted from Chinese Southern Belle’s Chinese Drive-In Night cooking class
2 cups glutinous rice
4 cups water
1/3 cup corn starch
1 1/2 T sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil, for frying
Steam the sticky rice using a steamer and this method.
Press the rice out on a flat surface (I used a cookie sheet). Make sure the rice is firmly pressed together, you want the rice cakes to be dense. Cut rice cakes out into circles about the same size as the burgers.
Mix together the corn starch, sesame seeds and salt in a small mixing bowl. Then coat each side of the rice cakes with this mixture.
Pan fry each rice cake in vegetable oil over medium high heat, until both sides are golden brown. Serve with salmon burgers from above.
Ginger Korean Yam Fries (serves 4) – adapted from Chinese Southern Belle’s Chinese Drive-In Night cooking class
3 Korean yams, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick strips
2 tablespoons corn starch
3 tablepoons water
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
vegetable oil, for frying
salt, to taste
Mix the corn starch, water, ginger and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl. Add the Korean yam strips and coat well with the corn starch mixture.
Heat the vegetable oil in a deep pan over high heat, then fry the Korean yam strips until they are golden brown, about 8 – 10 minutes.
Remove from oil, I like to place the fries on paper towels to soak up the extra oil. Sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately.
Asian Cole Slaw with Wasabi Dressing (serves 4) – adapted from Chinese Southern Belle’s Chinese Drive-In Night cooking class
6 cups Napa cabbage, sliced thinly
1/2 cup Daikon radish, shredded
1 red pepper, seed removed and then sliced thinly
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons wasabi mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Mix the Napa cabbage, radish re pepper and green onions together in a large mixing bowl.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well together. Pour over the vegetables and toss well. Serve with the burgers and rice cakes.