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Top Pick Of The Week

October 25, 2011

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Rice Cubes

You won’t believe how easy it is to turn out caterer-quality hors d’oeuvre and desserts using the Rice Cube. Even kids can do it (and will love it)! Above, Cantonese Barbecue Pork rice cube made with leftover barbecue pork. All photography courtesy Rice Cube.

WHAT IT IS: A simple kitchen gadget that can mold rice and other foods—along with any flavors and inclusions—into delightful square, bite-size portions.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: It’s new and unique in the marketplace—and patented, of course.
WHY WE LOVE IT: It is so easy to make dazzling foods: for hors d’oeuvre, appetizers, desserts and snacks. It turns leftovers into excitement.
WHERE TO BUY IT: Online. The company is in the process of lining up retail distributors.

Sweet chili chicken cubes with an easy vegetable garnish. The two interlocking pieces of the cube, below, make a limitless number of recipes.

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Rice Cubes: Make Modern Sushi, Easy Hors d’Oeuvre & Delightful Desserts

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CAPSULE REPORT: This week’s Top Pick isn’t a food, per se. But you can use it to make party foods or family meals that will dazzle. Friends will try to find out how you do it, so they, too, can take their food to the next dimension: cubed.

The magic is made with a Rice Cube: a little device (photo below) that makes cube-shaped bites of food.

The simple-yet-elegant idea lets anyone—even kids, who will have fun making themselves  snacks and other food—create food works of art.

What You Can Do With A Rice Cube

Australian cook and patent attorney Ross Patten invented the Rice Cube to impress judges at an audition for the “MasterChef” television show. We’re all beneficiaries of his aspiration to reality TV.

Using the simplest ingredients, you can make delicious and eye-pleasing snacks, hors d’oeuvre and desserts. And not just with rice: You can mold lentils, potatoes, polenta and any food that has a “clumping” texture:

You’ll have great fun creating:

  • Hors d’Oeuvre & Appetizers
  • Snacks
  • Sushi (no special rice or seaweed required, and it’s a snap compared to rolling with a bamboo mat)
  • Desserts

Each time you use the Rice Cube, you can make something new and different, with very little effort. Add different proteins: beef, fish/seafood, lamb, pork and poultry. Vary the veggies, herbs and spices.  Toss in dried or fresh fruits and nuts. Almost anything in the fridge and pantry can be “cubed” and easily garnished, to create a masterpiece.

Rice Cube also turns leftovers into rock stars (we made yummy cubes with leftover corned beef, sauerkraut and caraway seed with a mustard garnish). Don’t hold back: unleash your inner cube artist!

Add your favorite ingredients, from bacon and caramelized onions to asparagus and shrimp. Go  “Italian-style” with pesto or a “Margherita”*; go “Nacho-style” with salsa, cheese and refried beans.

What About The Rice?

You can use any type of rice. The company website goes into great detail on how to prepare every variety for the Rice Cube.

Don’t forget exotic rices like “forbidden” black rice from China (it’s actually purple-black) and Himalayan red rice. They’re even more special for entertaining. (See our Rice Glossary for the different types of rice).

Savory Mouthwatering Delights

Rice Cubes are more than bites on an hors d’oeuvre tray. Serve them as small plates at dinner, or group different flavors for a larger course. To get your imagination rolling, recipes on the website include:

  • Biryani chicken cubes
  • Cantonese BBQ pork cubes (photo above)
  • Carrots & peas cubes (or substitute your favorite veggie: asparagus, green beans, pumpkin, zucchini)
  • Chicken risotto cubes
  • Green lentil cubes on a sweet corn purée
  • Red rice with a hidden mozzarella ball
  • Salmon with seaweed salad (wakame)
  • Sushi (tuna avocado rolls, tobiko rolls, omakase [“I leave it to you”])
  • Sweet chili chicken cubes (photo at left)

We’ve been serving cubes in “trios,"  such as salmon roe caviar, raw salmon with lemon zest and smoked salmon with scallion. Serve them to guests with a beverage “trio”: sparkling wine, saké and vodka, for example.

We also like to serve seasoned white or brown rice cubes as a side with other foods.

Sweet Treats

You can make Rice Cube fruit snacks, or turn them into fancy desserts like these website recipes:

  • Banana cubes in a pool of custard sauce
  • Cherry coconut cubes in chocolate sauce
  • Pound cake cubes with mini chips
  • Sweet black rice and coconut
  • Sweet black or white rice with raspberries
  • Sweet rice with diced seasonal fruits
  • Our idea: rice pudding cubes with raisins, sultanas and cinnamon

A Rice Cube will not only elevate your kitchen creativity, but it will also delight your friends and family members who enjoy serving impressive food. They’re nicely boxed for gifting: Put them on your holiday gift list.

—Karen Hochman

Head to the index below to see what page you’d like to visit next.

*Margherita: tomatoes, basil and diced mozzarella.

     

Feast On Pumpkin

Pumpkin, a Super Food for All 12 Months of the Year, by Beth Jackson. High in antioxidants and fiber, pumpkin is a versatile fruit (yes, a fruit!) that should be enjoyed year-round. More information.

Pumpkin Cake Pops. These fetching pumpkin cake pops are hand-decorated in chocolate over moist double chocolate cake. They’ll be appreciated throughout the season. More information.

Pumpkin Plate. This ceramic serving plate is thematic for Halloween and Thanksgiving, but can be  enjoyed year-round. We like it for cookies and chocolates. Dishwasher and microwave safe. More information.

INDEX OF REVIEW

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