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Red curry cricket rice cakes with chilli and garlic dipping sauce

recipe information

Serves 2

01 You will need a rice steamer for this recipe. If you don't have one, use a vegetable steamer: just cover the large holes ate the base of the steamer with clingfilm and make small holes in it with a fork. This creates a steamer that the rice won't fall through. Soak the glutinous rice in a bowl of cold water for 12 hours in the fridge to soften.

02 The next day, drain the rice and mix with the crickets. Place in the rice steamer and steam for 30-35 minutes until it turns translucent and is soft to eat. Remove from the steamer, place in a bowl and allow to cool a little, but don't let it get cold.

03 While the rice is still warm, add the coconut, curry paste and fish sauce and mix well, then squeeze into evenly sized balls. Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand then set aside to cool.

04 Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°/350°F/gas mark 4. When the balls are cooled, place on a non-stick baking tray and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until they are golden brown and hot throughout.

05 While they're cooking, you can make the chilli and garlic dip. Heat the oil in a deep pan to 160°/325°F, or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Pound the garlic and a pinch of salt together in a pestle and mortar or food processor until it's chopped into chunks, then deep fry for 1-2 minutes until golden and fragrant. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat this process with the chillies and then the ginger. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

06 When cool, pound the crispy garlic, chillies and ginger together in a pestle and mortar or food processor, adding a little of the deep frying oil to bind it all together, and if needed, add a little more salt.

Serve the dipping sauce with the hot rice cakes, garnished with coriander, peanuts and chilli.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE RICE CAKES
  • 100g/3½oz/½ cup glutinous rice (sticky rice)
  • 10g/⅓oz crickets, roughly chopped
  • 30g/1oz/⅓ cup desiccated (dry unsweetened) coconut, toasted
  • 40g/1½oz red curry paste
  • 150ml/5fl oz/⅔cup fish sauce
  • FOR THE CHILLI AND GARLIC DIP
  • 500ml/17fl oz/ 2 cups vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 25 garlic cloves, peeled
  • salt
  • 10-12 dried long red chillies, deseeded if you prefer a milder heat
  • 3 slices of ginger
  • TO GARNISH
  • a small handful of coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
  • a small handful of peanuts
  • 1 long red chilli sliced

If you like to have snacks to hand, this is great as the rice cakes keep in the fridge for two to three days, and the sauce can be kept for a couple of months without loosing flavour.