Love food, hate waste is the mantra on the lips of many people whether they’re foodies or just sensible hausfrauen trying to keep precious food resources from being callously tossed into the garbage bin. In these days when the price of edible groceries is up by a whopping 30%, every morsel counts.
Rice is one of those precious edibles in this part of the world, what with typhoons ruining fields full of crops before they’re ready to harvest. Resourceful Filipino households have always had a way with leftover rice, transforming it into a savoury side simply by frying it with garlic or tossing in scraps of meat and veg for Chinese-style fried rice. Both are good ways of using up cold rice, but it can get monotonous at times.
That said, today’s recipe takes a cue from the Japanese in the sense that cold rice is wadded up into patties and grilled till crisp on the outside and warmed up within to make yaki-musubi.
These yaki-musubi, however, have a bit of a difference: deep in the heart of each rice patty is a bit of tinned fish – in this case, tuna sisig – to give it more flavour. The cooked patties are smothered in a rich, spicy curry gravy made with Japanese curry roux and onions. You can use any other tinned fish of your choice; you can even use canned meats such as cubed luncheon meat or corned beef hash. Whichever you choose, you can serve up your leftovers as a fresh new dish your family can enjoy.
For the musubi:
- 3 cups cold cooked rice
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 small tin tuna or milkfish (bangus) sisig or pink salmon, drained well
- 2 tablespoons oil for frying
For the curry
- 1 cube Japanese curry roux
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
To make the musubi, mix together the rice, egg, and tinned fish. Chill for 30 minutes to an hour. Form into four patties. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan over medium heat. Fry the patties until browned and crisp on both sides; set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Add the curry and cook while stirring till thickened.
Transfer the patties to a serving dish and pour over the curry. Serve immediately with a salad.