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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sesame Rice Crackers

In my super mum fantasy I only serve up home-made, nutritious food for my monkeys. Their lunch boxes are packed with a changing menu of healthy goodies that are all eaten. And after school the monkeys beg for a bowl of soup or veggie sticks with home-made dip or fruit and never even notice the salty, chemical laden rice crackers that I've hidden in the pantry for my own secret snacking.

Of course in real life I'm always making monkey lunches in my dressing gown while simultaneously begging littlest monkey to remove himself from the heating vent and put his school shoes on. And I'm always making the same carrot and cheese sandwich that often comes home only half eaten. And I'm chucking the same bits of fruit in the lunch bags while cursing the price of bananas and little monkey's reluctancy to consume apples. And I very often let them eat those salty rice crackers when they come home from school. Even though I want them all to myself. Because I have acquired an addiction to the chemical, salty taste of rice crackers and I've managed to kid myself that they are good for me because they are low in fat. In fact I am so keen on those crackers that I lick all the salty, MSG bits off first and then suck up some more before crunching. But I do all of this with little pangs of guilt.

I sometimes lash out and buy those sesame rice crackers you see in the health food section of the supermarket. Have you seen these ones? They're good but expensive. So I really can't justify buying them even though they do satisfy my cravings.

So I was most pleased with myself indeed on the weekend when I managed my own version. I'd googled about a bit but could not find a recipe that looked right to me. Those sesame crackers only have sesame seeds, tamari and rice flour in them... how hard could they be? So I decided to put my masterchef hat on and had my own little invention test. It took a few goes but I finally managed some that were pretty good. The trick is to get them really thin and for this I used a pasta machine - how inventive is that?! And then I realised that I must blog about this. But I'd be breaking my own rules if I did. I'm only allowing myself to include recipes in this blog of things I make that I've grown from the garden. And I am a stickler for rules. So I decided to repeat my cracker-making for the third time and take photos of the process and ... add parsley! Yep, I know how to get around self-imposed stupid rules.

So here 'tis. A home-made sesame rice cracker with no MSG and not too much stroke-inducing saltiness. And all done while fully dressed. I am super mum this week. 

Sesame Rice Crackers
1 cup rice flour (I used unpolished rice flour)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2tbs finely chopped parsley
1/8 cup tamari
1/4 cup warm water (roughly)

Put the rice flour into a bowl and mix in the sesame seeds and parsley. Mix the tamari and warm water together. Gradually add this to the flour mixture forming a sticky dough. You may not need it all. Put the dough onto a floured surface and roll it into a ball adding more flour if needed. (Rice flour is very sticky). Divide the dough into smaller sausages.

Squash one small sausage of dough between two pieces of wax paper. Make sure there is plenty of room at the sides and a few cm of paper at the top to push through the pasta machine. Wheel the dough through the pasta machine on the widest cog being careful to keep it between the paper (I imagine it would be impossible to clean if the dough got into the machine.) Repeat through the machine two more cogs thinner. You may need to chop some of the dough off at the end so it doesn't end up out of the paper and into the machine.
Remove the top piece if wax paper and place on a tray. Now if you were very patient and fussy you could pop it in the fridge at this point and then later use a biscuit cutter to make the crackers into a circular cracker shape. And I madly did do this for about 3 but quickly came to my senses and decided to have rough looking crackers instead.
Cook in a 200ยบ oven for 5-10 minutes until just crispy. Watch carefully - they very easily burn. Allow to cool on a wire rack, remove the baking paper and break the crackers into pieces.

18 comments:

  1. that sounds fantastic! Do the monkeys like them?
    Can you please explain what Tamari is? It seems like the 'in' food thing at the moment (same with Umami) but I dont know what it is! Thanks VG

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  2. Littlest monkey just refused them. He said "I do like them but I'm sick of having them all the time". Fair enough. Tamari is like soy sauce but Japanese and has no wheat just soy beans I think. Don't know what Unami is though.

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  3. Ooo veggiegobbler, I read the first paragraph so quickly that I missed out on your first few words - in my supermum fantasy! I had visions of your halo gleaming as your dished out your nutritious and virtuous food to your perfect children... all I could think of was, hang on a sec, I'm trying!

    I'm so glad to hear that you are not that perfect, although those crackers you made beg to differ. I can't believe you put in that effort. Go supermum, go!

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  4. Oh yum! I love tamari and I love rice crackers, never thought to make my own though - as soon as we get our oven, I'm making a batch of these! I'm addicted to crunchy texture and salt...terrible I know.

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  5. Wow! They sound great! I've been denying myself rice crackers on the grounds of the MSG content, so I'm up for trying this - in fact I can't wait!
    Thanks - Greenie x

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  6. It made me laugh how you got round your posting rules. Did the parsley improve the recipe?

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  7. You are right , veggiegobbler. Tamari is a kind of soy sauce made only of soy beans not mixed with wheat. Thay say that a supernatant liquid ,which is generated in a process of Miso production, is the origin of Tamari and other types of soy sauce.

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  8. Thanks for the info takaeko. Little blue mouse I have no idea. But the flecks of green made me feel better - added nutrient. Great, hope you both try then Greenie and Mrs Bok. Ali you should know better. What I neglected to tell you all is that the monkeys woke up with gastro and spent the entire day in PJs in front of screens. I didn't need to do any entertaining.

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  9. My parsley is still baby at the moment, I think I try with nori(dried seeweed). But I probably need to use more muscle to make them really flat and thin since we don't have that gadget. You are a supermom VG!

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  10. MK girl I reckon it'd still work with muscle. I'm just not good with a rolling pin. Also, these were really thin, thicker ones would be good too.

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  11. I wish my Mum had made me rice crackers like that! They look great - and how nice that you set-to and experimented and made your own recipe. That is much more worthy of respect than just following someone else's recipe.

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  12. I love that you have created these. It had never occured to me to make them at home.

    I totally love these and am bookmarking to make one-day, perhaps to be enjoyed in front of the TV at the weekend in place of my usual homemade popcorn. I don't have a pasta machine though, so will have to use my rolling pin.

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  13. Fabulous idea - we buy those cost a fortune ones and ration them out very carefully. Can't wait to try - and at last a good use for the pasta machine.

    I mostly make our own snacks too - one of our favourites is home made larabars - check out this recipe on choc & zucchini: http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2009/05/homemade_larabars.php - I use 150g date paste, and no fresh dates; and vary the flavours according to mood. Very very easy, very very good!

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  14. Lovely blog (especially photos!)

    Just found you
    Elspeth
    http://www.my-garden-school.com

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  15. They look good & healthy! I am glad you found a way around the rules to post this as I've been meaning to make more of my own snacks/ crackers from scratch!

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  16. I came across your blog via blog-hopping and I must tell you that I will be making these today! I've only got black rice flour and shiso in the garden but...well, I'm sure it'll work out just fine. I ♥ rice crackers!!!!

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  17. Fabulous post/recipe. I've used a pasta maker for friut leathers but never thought to try sesame crackers like this, inspired. Thanks.

    On a side note, can I ask what your post title font is? I've wanted a casual font for my blog for 7yrs but never found one I liked, till now, it's perfect and I'd love to use it too, if you are willing to divulge.

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  18. Thanks Cally.
    The font is "follow my grass". Wow you've been blogging for 7 years! Impressive.

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