After all these years, I still over-estimate how efficient I can be. But then, I still over-eat and regret, over-drink and regret...although the frequency of it, I'd like to believe, has decreased. I'm not really counting though.
So a week or so two weeks after I thought I'd get this post up, I'm finally sitting down to put this together.
Here...I used my myeolchi bokkeum (멸치 볶음 - anchovy stir-fry), or simply anchovy banchan, to pretty things up. The green bits that tiny achovies are sitting on are tangy seaweed banchan cut up to small pieces. So the rice nests really represent the ocean with seaweed and fish, you know?...Am I the only one who thinks this is clever and funny?...
...Anyway, the point is that the rice nest base is a versatile means to carry many small bits of everyday humble banchan. For those who need to see what they are eating, this could work better than the more common rice balls with stuffings inside (주먹밥 - ju meok bap). These don't travel as well, but if you have a party at home, it could be another way to show off the effort you put into making banchan, instead of having 'those little dishes' lumped into one big nameless group. Of course, if you have fancier edibles to put on these rice nests, I'm sure you can fly with your own imagination.
Make your rice as you usually do - In the pictures above, the rice I made is a mix of sweet brown rice (찹쌀 현미 - chap ssal hyeon mi) and white rice (3:1 ratio by volume), plus corn kernels. Just in case you're wondering about the color and unidentifiable specs.
Season the rice by mixing 1 t toasted sesame oil, 2 t rice vinegar, and a pinch of black pepper to 2 cups of cooked rice (which makes about 15 mini rice nests) while it's still steaming hot. Depending on what you're putting on top of rice, you might also want to season with salt at this time. Because the anchovies are pretty salty, I didn't add salt to rice. Taste and adjust seasoning. Let the rice cool a little so that it's easier to handle.
Line the mini muffin pan with plastic wrap, leaving enough extra in all sides. As you fill the pan with rice, it will pull more of the plastic wrap. Fill with rice then cover with another layer of plastic wrap. With your fingers, press down the rice to tightly shape it with a dent in the middle. Uncover the top layer of plastic wrap and gently remove the rice nests from the muffin pan. With the help of the bottom layer plastic wrap and oil mixed in the rice, this part should be easy. Just be gentle with them.
Garnish the rice nests with banchan or anything else your imagination brings.
Serve at room temperature.
과식 (gwa shik) overeating
과음 (gwa eum) overdrinking