Fēi Fēi Rice balls (米球菲菲)
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 any because I’m a vegetarian, but if you feel like it, you can fry some ham, sweet ham or any other ingredient you like, I’m sure it’ll do very well too.
- The sauce better rest five minutes before serving.
- As a starter it is a great dish and you will look great with your colleagues.
And by the way, if you’re doing well, leave me a comment on the experience. I hope you cook them. Thank you and…