Cooking Lessons at Paula’s: Japanese Salad & Rice Cakes

September 20th, 2013

Day Two of cooking lessons in designer Paula Hermanny’s house starts off with the preparation of two recipes from Chef Chelsea Turner. Japanese Salad and Rice Cakes (which can easily be combined with seafood) are healthy dinner options popular with Chef Chelsea’s celebrity clients in Costa Rica. And with Paula’s penchant for fresh and healthy eating, it’s no wonder that these recipes are up for today’s lesson!

Japanese Salad

Chopped carrots, celery, cucumber, radish, green onion (Julienne–cut)

Sauce ingredients :

1/4 cup of miso

6 tablespoons grapeseed oil

2 carrots, peeled and cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons grated ginger

4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

2 teaspoons of sesame oil

2 teaspoons honey (optional)

juice of half an orange

juice of one lemon


Put everything in a blender (except the vegetables), and blend slowly while adding oil until the sauce becomes thick. The goal is to get a smooth texture. Serve on the side with the chopped vegetable salad.

Rice Cakes

The rice cakes are made with sushi rice:

2 cups sushi rice

2.5 cups water


Wash the rice until the water is clear. Boil the rice in a pan and put the lid on halfway (to release steam). Simmer for 20 minutes, release the rice and then add seasoning. Place on a baking sheet to cool down to room temperature.



1/2 cup rice vinegar

1/8 cup sugar (white or brown, the preference is yours)


Place ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves. You can add more sugar if you would prefer your rice to be sweeter.

Rice cakes:

Mold the rice into small patties. Cover the base of a pan with oil and fry each side until golden brown (about 5 minutes on each side over medium heat). Make sure that there is enough oil in the pan to ensure they do not burn.

"Ponzu" a la Chef Chelsea


2/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup Persian lime juice

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 cup soy sauce or tamari (gluten free!)

1/4 cup mirin (or sake and sugar)

1 tablespoon grated ginger


Mix everything and add more citrus juice if necessary. The traditional Ponzu sauce usually has some kind of konbu and pepper.

To Supplement: Bok Choy (Chinese cabbage) and oyster mushrooms

Sauté the oyster mushrooms in a skillet with garlic, mirin and salt until soft. Then add chopped bok choy and saute all together until the bok choy wilts. Top rice cake with the vegetables and Ponzu sauce. Paula added fish to her version of the dish, as well!  Enjoy!