Fēi Fēi Rice balls (米球菲菲)
I created this recipe during my time at HuangShan in China, where I had the opportunity to volunteer at a hostel bar for a month and a half.
Every day we made rice and the leftovers were often thrown away. It hurt me and I decided to take advantage of it. With some vegetables, eggs and flour attached to the rice, you have a dish, which besides being cheap, rich and colorful, if you wear to a party with your friends, it will always will be well received.
For rice balls Fēi Fēi Fēi:
- Rice from the previous day: it will depend on the leftovers for the rest of the quantities in the ingredients, I have used these for my own.
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- Half a glass of milk (soy or regular)
- 1 or 2 eggs, depending on the amount of rice
- 2 spoonfuls of flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A tip of sweet paprika
- Chopped parsley or any aromatic herb you like and have on hand.
- Oil to fry the balls.
For the sauce:
- 4 tablespoons oil for frying
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/4 cup sherry wine (here I used one of rice, but it has the same aroma)
- 1 spoonful of rice vinegar, if you don’t have any apple juice
- 2 teaspoons sugar (best brown)
- 1/4 cup water
- If you like the spice, I have used two dried red chillies, to your liking.
- A frying pan
- A knife
- A skimming spoon
- Absorbent paper for resting the balls
- A spoon and a glass as gauges
The first thing to do is to loosen the rice a little if it is too close together, we can use a spoon or our hands (Fig. 1). Then we will cut the pepper and onion very small, almost the size of the same rice (Fig. 2 and 3). During sauteing it will decrease.
While sautéing the vegetables (Fig. 4), add the milk, the egg or eggs, the aromatic herbs, the paprika, the salt and stir together (Fig. 5). When the vegetables are poached, add them to this mixture and move it so that it is evenly distributed throughout the rice (Fig. 6).
We add the flour little by little and thus we verify that we do not overdo it with the quantity and it is very hard, although this can be fixed with a little more milk.
In order to make the balls I recommend you to wet your hands (Fig. 7), this way you will avoid the rice to stick to them and it will be much more comfortable to work it (Fig. 8). I preferred to make them not too big, so we could eat them with chopsticks without having to cut them. And let them stand for a while so that the ingredients are compacted and do not fall apart when frying (Fig. 9).
If you want you can do a test with one and check that it does not melt and the mixture has been homogeneous, not too soft, not too hard and fry well (Fig. 10). When we have the balls done, we will put them in the frying pan with the hot oil, although the fire does not have to be very strong in the frying, four or five at a time (Fig. 11 and 12).
Fry them on all sides until they are golden brown and appetising (Fig. 13). Remove them from the oil with the help of a squeegee and put them on the absorbent paper towel to remove any excess oil.
Photos: Noé Clémenceau.
Kitchen helper: Zhu Zhuoran
In HuangShan – China.
Thank you both for your time and help.
When you have all the fried balls you can start with the sauce.
Process for the sauce:
Add a little oil to the frying pan, add the chilli peppers without burning them, remove the frying pan from the heat and add the sherry wine carefully so as not to burn you, then the soy sauce and the vinegar. Add the sugar and raise the heat so that all the aromas are mixed and add the water. The sauce is ready.
Serve the sauce in a cup or bowl large enough to hold all the sauce, but be comfortable when submerging the balls, put it in the center of a large plate and around the balls.
A few tips
- I haven’t added because I’m a vegetarian, but if you feel like frying a little ham, sweet ham or any other ingredient that you feel like, I’m sure it will also do very well.
- The best sauce to rest five minutes before serving
- As a starter, it’s a magnificent dish and you’ll look great with your colleagues.
And by the way, if you are doing well, leave me a comment with the experience. I hope you cook them. Thank you and…
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