Emerald Rice Cakes


While this gourmet entrée requires a fair amount of preparation, all the work can be done ahead of time. The result is worth the work. This recipe was a winner in our 2008 Restaurant Poll, and is a popular entrée at San Francisco's Millennium Restaurant.

  • SERVINGServings


  • Squash Purée
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 14-oz. can light coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. unrefined sugar
  • Habanero Jerk Sauce
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely diced shallots
  • 1/2 habanero chile, minced
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/3 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 tsp. unrefined sugar
  • Rice Cakes
  • Olive oil for brushing pans and rice cakes
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped canned bamboo shoots
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups watercress, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, for garnish
  • Seitan Mixture
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 cup cubed seitan or firm tofu
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves


To make Squash Purée:

1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in squash and thyme, then coconut milk and 1 cup water. Simmer 20 minutes. Stir in sugar, and cool. Purée in blender until smooth.

To make Habanero Jerk Sauce:

2. Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté shallots 7 to 9 minutes. Add habanero, paprika, thyme, allspice, and cloves, and sauté 20 seconds. Add orange juice, lime juice, and sugar, and simmer 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

To make Rice Cakes:

3. Grease 13- x 9-inch glass dish with olive oil. Purée cilantro with 1/2 cup water in blender or food processor. Combine cilantro purée, rice, bamboo shoots, and salt in bowl. Press rice mixture into prepared baking dish. Cover with parchment paper, and weigh down with second baking dish filled with cans. Cool 2 hours.

4. Heat oven to broil, and grease baking sheet with olive oil. Cut rice into 12 squares. Place on baking sheet, and brush tops lightly with oil. Broil until well browned. Meanwhile, warm Squash Purée and Habanero Jerk Sauce.

To make Seitan Mixture:

5. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté seitan and garlic 5 to 7 minutes. Add cauliflower and 1/2 cup Habanero Jerk Sauce, and sauté 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in spinach, and cook 1 to 2 minutes more, or until spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

6. To serve: Ladle 1/3 cup Squash Purée onto each plate. Spoon Seitan Mixture in center, and top with Rice Cake. Spoon 2 to 3 Tbs. Habanero Jerk Sauce around plate. Toss together watercress and mint, and top each rice cake with greens mixture.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: Serves 12
  • Calories: 209
  • Carbohydrate Content: 18 g
  • Fat Content: 12 g
  • Fiber Content: 2 g
  • Protein Content: 8 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 3 g
  • Sodium Content: 259 mg
  • Sugar Content: 4 g