The Trick For Making Sticky Rice Buns And Revamping Your Summertime Burgers

Rice pilaf, fried rice, and rice pudding are a few iconic demonstrations of this humble grain's versatility. Taking it a step further, you can transform rice into a hamburger bun with the right type of grain and a simple trick. Sticky rice refers to sushi rice and other short grain types of rice that contain high amounts of starch, creating the sticky glue that clumps grains together and maintains their collective form.

If you've ever enjoyed sushi, you have experienced firsthand how cohesive sticky rice is. Just as easily as you can roll it into a stuffed cylinder, you can also form it into round or square buns for your next burger. The trick to incorporating a little flavor, reinforcing stickiness, and providing texture to rice buns involves rice vinegar and a brushing of oil. Rice vinegar brings a mild tangy sweetness to the buns to pair with the nuttiness of cooked rice, and it'll also provide extra reinforcement to the rice's gluey starches.

After you've formed the sticky rice into buns, a quick sear in neutral oil will create a crispy exterior with some char for extra flavor. Plus, it'll create even more of a seal to prevent the bun from crumbling with each bite of your burger. The oil will also act as the glue for any additional bun seasonings, like the classic sprinkling of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or even coarse salt.

Rice bun burger ideas

Rice buns are a delicious gluten-free alternative to the typical wheat or potato buns we usually use to sandwich burgers. They're chewy, crispy, and just as versatile as their traditional bun counterparts, so you can use them to sandwich a traditional beef burger patties. Or you can take them in new and exciting directions by drawing inspiration from global rice dishes.

Since sushi rice is most commonly paired with raw seafood, you know rice buns will make the perfect vessel for a pan-seared tuna burger or a rich, herb-infused salmon burger. You could add freshly chopped mint to the rice buns as a fresh, herbal complement to juicy lamb burgers with tzatziki sauce. Rice buns would taste great with this smoky chipotle burger recipe, slathered in chipotle mayo with slices of avocados and melted provolone.

Since rice and beans are one of the most famous complementary proteins, rice buns and lentil or black bean burgers would be a hearty and nourishing meal for vegans and vegetarians. Another vegan-friendly option would be to dust the rice bun with za'atar seasoning, slather it with tahini, and stuff it with a falafel burger.