Ham is what I like to use in this recipe, but bacon would work as well. And if you happen to have it laying around, a piece of diced tasso ham gives this dish a vaguely Cajun feel—almost like a jambalaya cake.
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- Yield:Serves 4
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:20 minutes
- Vegetable oil
- 1/2 pound ham steak, diced
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 cup peas, thawed if frozen
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- Finely sliced scallions, to garnish
Heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a medium non-stick skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the ham and cook, stirring constantly until ham is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove ham from pan and place in a large bowl. Add onions to pan and cook until onions are soft and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with ham.
Add rice, peas, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes to ham mixture and mix until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add beaten egg and mix until egg is full incorporated.
Using your hands, form rice mixture into 8 evenly sized balls. Heat another teaspoon of vegetable oil in a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half of rice cakes and and cook until brown on one side, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook until the other side is browned, about 4 minutes longer. Repeat with remaining cakes and serve hot garnished with scallions.