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Crispy Rice with Spicy Beet Tartare

Makes 12 bites


    I thought there was nothing more delicious than a spicy tuna roll until the day I tasted that delicious filling perched atop a piece of crispy rice. Usually, I try to keep things simple, but this is one of those moments that is worth the extra effort—and it’s nothing to be intimidated by. As a twist on the traditional tuna, I use roasted beets. You can, of course, substitute 8 ounces fresh tuna or salmon in the spicy mayo mixture. To cut prep time, roast the beets in advance. It’s a fun special-occasion meal for the family served alongside a green salad.



    Crispy Rice with Spicy Beet Tartare


      • 12 ounces red beets (about 4 medium)
      • Sea salt
      • 4 cups sushi rice
      • 2 tablespoons Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise, or regular mayonnaise mixed with 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
      • 2 teaspoons sriracha
      • 2 teaspoons gluten- free tamari
      • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
      • Avocado oil
      • White rice flour or all-purpose gluten-free flour
      • 1 avocado, mashed
      • 2 tablespoons gomasio or sesame seeds
      • 1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced



      Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.


      Arrange two aluminum foil squares on a work surface and divide the beets between them. Season the beets generously with salt, then wrap them tightly in the foil. Transfer the packets to a sheet pan and roast until the beets are tender and their skin has become opaque and scaly, about 1 hour. Open the foil and let the beets cool until safe to handle. Using your fingers, remove and discard the beets’ outer skins. Finely dice the beets (the smaller, the better) and set aside.


      Place the sushi rice in the prepared pan and spread it into an even layer. Top the rice with a second piece of parchment. Using clean hands, press the rice down with full force to compact it into a firm sheet. You can use a measuring cup to tamp it down and even the edges. Refrigerate the rice in the pan for at least 1 hour, or overnight. Everything up to this point can be done several days ahead, covered, and refrigerated.


      To make the beet tartare, in a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sriracha, tamari, and sesame oil. Stir in the diced beets. Taste for seasoning, and add more heat or salt, as needed.


      Lightly grease a knife with avocado oil and use it to cut the rice into 12 even rectangles—or whatever shape speaks to you!


      Sprinkle a thin layer of flour onto a plate. Dredge each piece of rice lightly in the flour on both sides. Use your fingers to pack in any loose grains around the edges so it’s a tight package.


      Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add a thin layer (about 1⁄8 inch) of avocado oil. Working in batches, add the rice cakes to the skillet and pan-fry for 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Transfer to paper towels.


      To serve, top each crispy rice bite with a spoonful of mashed avocado, followed by the beet tartare. Sprinkle with <gomasio> and garnish each with a slice of jalapeño.



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