Thursday 2 February 2012

A Rice of Two Halves, or maybe not- Japanese Teriyaki Chicken Rice Burger

Japanese Teriyaki Chicken Rice Burger
Spread the rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds
Cutting the rice using a large cookie cutter 
Round rice buns
Pan-frying the rice buns
Japanese Teriyaki Chicken Rice Burger with Chunky Tofu 'Chips'

Burger buns made out of rice?!? Yes, it sounds insane and I can see the little brain cells in your head going into overdrive, but for anyone who's ever been to the Asia and visited a certain popular Japanese burger chain will know that this is all possible, thanks to the ingenuity of  Mr. Sakurada. I first had this when I was in Singapore. Despite never having being a fan of burger chains, the idea of a rice burger was just too intriguing to resist. So I caved in and ordered one of their signature beef rice burger. Even though that was years ago, and the taste of the burger is all but a faded memory, the idea of this meat filled rice bun still remain a fascinating imprint. The idea of making this came to me as I was dining in my local pub recently with a friend. He ordered a burger and for some unexplainable reason, this distant memory just pop out of nowhere.

This honey sweet and sticky teriyaki sauce oozing version may not have been the real thing, but it is damn close. And as far as I can remember, that was my one and only visit to the burger chain but this teriyaki chicken rice burger, however, will definitely be made time and time again.

(Serves 4)


For the Teriyaki Chicken:
60ml Japanese  soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
2 tbsp sake
2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
4 large chicken thighs, skinned and boned

250g raw Japanese sushi rice
475ml cold water
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Sunflower oil
a handful of salad leaves of your choice
Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise, to serve


Combine the soy sauce, miring, sake and maple syrup or honey in a bowl. Add the chicken and marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

In the meantime, cook the rice. Rinse the rice several times in cold water, or until the water runs clear, then drain in a colander and leave to stand in the colander for 30 minutes.

Put the rice in a saucepan with the water and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 12 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the lid. Place a clean kitchen towel across the top to absorb any excess moisture saucepan and quickly put the lid back on. Leave to stand for about 10 minutes.

Spread the cooked rice into a lightly oiled tin with a spatula and  smooth over the surface so it is flat and even. It should be roughly about 1 1/2cm thick. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and press down so that it stick onto the rice. Allow to cool to room temperature and using a large round cookie cutter, 9cm (3 1/2 in), and cut the rice into 8 discs.

Heat a little oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and pan fry the rice discs for 4-5 minutes on both sides, or until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels keep warm in a low oven.

Meanwhile, heat up more oil in to the frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 4-5 . Turn over and cook for another 4 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and the chicken is cook through. Remove from the pan and set aside. Pour the marinade into the pan and bring to the boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the sauce has reduced and has a thick and glossy consistency. Return the chicken to the pan and turn to coat well in the teriyaki glaze.

To serve, place a rice disc on clean serving plate. Top with some salad leaves, a piece of chicken and a dollop of mayonnaise. Top with another rice disc with the sesame-side up.  Serve immediately.



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