This recipe was something I found on Serious Eats. http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/01/jumuk-bap-korean-rice-balls-beef-pears-seaweed-recipe.html In retrospect it seemed like a great comfort recipe, reminding me of something my mom made when I was a toddler and for my son when he was young. I think every ethnicity has some type of comfort easy to chew type food. Call it baby mush. Not that I remember from my childhood, but when I tasted it, I had a sensory recall. Mom would take lean beef, flank steak or flap meat, or lean pork, using two cleavers she would chop the meat finely and marinate it. While the meat marinated she would prep the vegetable of choice (for my son it was green beans fresh from her garden, or squash from mine) In a 3 or 4 qt pot she would cook rice on the stove top and add the meat and veggie at just the right time to gently steam on top of the rice, the flavor soaking through out the dish. She would make this every day for my son as a lunch. One of my friends loved it when her son would come over for play dates and he would be given a little margarine tub of this concoction to take home for her son's dinner. She had difficulty deciding if she could justify eating it all herself and not sharing.
Then something went wrong. More after the break.
Unfortunately something went wrong with this Korean rice ball recipe for me. Most likely it was the rice. I didn't have sushi rice on hand, well 1/4 of a cup is not enough. We keep Jasmine long grain rice on stock, and I wasn't sure if risotto rice would have worked. I did not use sheets of Nori as I have the rice seasoning and decided to go for that. A word of warning. I doubled the recipe and it does not need a full pear for the juice. Half a pear is more than enough juice.
So this was the marinated meat.
I decided to put a vegetable in it like my mother so I used green beans.
The seaweed seasoning...
The finished dish
I wasn't able to make rice balls. Perhaps it was because it was too hot or the rice wasn't sticky enough to hold the mixture together. How did everyone like it? Well I felt it needed more salt, it was too sweet. While it wasn't exactly my mom's rice balls, it wasn't too bad. My son liked it enough, my husband didn't even try it. Will I make this again? Nope, I'm going to wait for my mom.