Thursday, July 31, 2008

RECIPE ~ Fresh Rice Bundles in Sesame Leaves

I've discovered a whole new world of international cuisine with my Korean mother-in-law's incredible home cooking. The new flavours and combinations of food are so satisfying, hearty and delightful to the palate! One of the ingredients I'd never had before is sesame leaves, eaten fresh or marinated, and used for wrapping little bundles of rice with other fillings. (Use whatever fillings you like, using the suggestions below or your own ideas!)

Fresh sesame leaves (if you can't find them, use tender lettuce leaves instead)
Cooked short grain (brown) rice, hot

Tofu fingers pan-fried in a bit of oil
Avocado slices
Cucumber slices (fresh or marinated)
Marinated seaweed salad
Raw or lightly steamed vegetables (carrots, snow peas, asparagus), cut into thin matchsticks and lightly seasoned with salt and sesame oil or vinegar
Japanese pickled ginger

SAUCE (Kan Jang)
4 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp each sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, minced garlic, minced green onion, and crushed red pepper flakes (optional/if available)

Serve hot rice in individual bowls, and pile sesame leaves (or lettuce leaves) on a plate. Serve the fillings in individual serving bowls to share. Combine all the sauce ingredients in another bowl. To eat, take a leaf, spoon some rice in the center plus any fillings you like, add a little sauce and pop it in your mouth! (Bigger leaves might take a few bites:-)

Makes a great lunch. For a heartier dinner, serve with miso soup, a stir-fry or barbecued skewers of veggies and tofu, finishing off with fresh fruit.

I haven't found the Ayurvedic qualities of sesame leaves, but find them dry and astringent, so I'll venture to guess that they increase Vata.
VATAS also use lettuce leaves
PITTAS minimize garlic and salt
KAPHAS choose basmati; avoid avocado; minimize salt


Anonymous said...

Love sesame leaves.Using lettuce leaves instead of sesame can able to give the same test?

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

Hi Serena!

Sesame leaves as you know have a very unique flavour, kind of peppery, whereas lettuce is almost sweet and juicy, so the taste will be different but the little fillings are what really impart the most flavour!

Anonymous said...

Thnks a lot...

Kris said...

We do this a lot at home with various lettuces, brown rice, and a really good organic miso. Tempeh (lightly pan-fried to brown) makes agreat filling, too!