I was planning to make ants on a tree last night, but there seems to be some kind of cellophane noodle shortage afoot. I checked Safeway and both QFCs and came up empty-handed. But the pork was already thawed.

Last time I had extra ground pork, I made little meatballs. But my taste buds were already vibrating in an Asian direction. Okay, that sounds wrong, you know what I mean.

So I made meat patties in the style of northeastern Thai sausage (*sai krok*). I mixed a pound of ground pork with garlic, shallots, scallions, ginger, cilantro, fish sauce, minced chiles, and a pinch of sugar. While I was chopping, I made some rice. Authentically, it would have been Thai sticky rice, but all I had was medium-grain calrose rice, so I made that. I cooled some rice by sticking it on a plate in the freezer for a few minutes, then mixed it in with the pork. I formed the meat mixture into two-inch patties and fried them in a pan, then served them with cucumber salad and a squeeze of lime.

I thought they were great–I love the springy texture you get from rice as a sausage filler. Iris wasn’t terribly impressed that I had wasted the rice by putting it in the sausage. “Why’d you only make a little rice?” she asked. “I love rice.” I have a feeling that when we take Iris to Asia, she will eat rice three meals a day and little else. She won’t want to go home until beriberi sets in.

4 thoughts on “Filler

  1. Kathleen

    I did something with medium grain calrose rice today, too. I mixed it with glue and green food coloring and helped kids shape it into advent wreaths. It hardens up nicely; we may have these for years to come.

    What is “calrose” anyway? I’ve always assumed it had something to do with California (where they do, in fact, grow rice), but I don’t really know.

  2. heather

    hmm…i learned that, a month or so ago, when i desperately needed some corn meal for oven-fried chicken (my husband loves fried chicken + my family’s history of heart disease = oven fried! wooo!), and NO stores (i visited three) had it on their shelves…just big empty sections, labeled “CORN MEAL, store brand, price, etc.” … “CORN MEAL, name brand, price, etc.”… that all the cornmeal comes from the same damn place, and that that place had found eggs in their meal…

    luckfully, i work in a schmancy gourmet store, and was able to buy “polenta” at 20% off.

    i’m sure the cellophane noodle crisis is entirely different in nature.

  3. mamster Post author

    Yeah, I don’t know what’s going on with the noodles. I like Sun Luck brand best, because they’re very springy, which is something I like in a clear noodle. They have other brands at Uwajimaya, but I haven’t seen Sun Luck anywhere for several weeks.

    I saw a Cook’s Illustrated recipe for oven-fried shrimp that sounded really good, by the way. I think it was in their new 2007 best-of book.

    Kathleen, I think Calrose does refer to California and is probably a state agricultural marketing thing.

  4. Fahmi

    “I love rice”

    I approve. I can’t go a few days without rice – I get little withdrawals. Thanksgiving was very painful this year.

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