Not too long ago I expressed enthusiasm on the above cube shaped sushi maker. Appropriately named the Rice Cube, the kitchen accessory simplifies how one would go about creating sushi or other rice creations without using a mat. Note that short grain rice aka sushi rice isn’t a requirement as jasmine will work just fine. Sounds too good to be true? Well the supreme folks over at UncommonGoods were kind enough to send me one to try out.
Before I continue with the review, anyone as curious as myself would’ve browsed around UncommonGoods to see that they are full of unique gift ideas. From the easy going to the toughest recipient, UncommonGoods has it covered. And best of all, many of the items are well under the $100, $50 and $25 dollar range. For those interested, head over here, here and here to see gifts under $100, $50 and $25. Especially if you have a friend or family member who would enjoy barbecuing, mathematical glassware, wooden iAccessories or all of the above. Disclaimer: I listed items I wouldn’t mind owning.
Upon unboxing the Rice Cube, I have to say the packaging and product are both superb in aesthetics and feels great in hand. In contrast, I’ve used rice ball molds in the past with questionable build quality. Instructions come in the form of a foldable tri-lingual booklet that is as transparent can be. The cube itself consists of two ABS plastic pieces that are both recyclable and dishwasher safe. Listed are a total of ten steps involved to complete a single piece of square sushi. However, don’t be deterred by that as the learning curve is friendly. The steps really just involve filling the well with ingredients. Then pressing the “U” shaped side piece in gently (the booklet states force is not required since rice is naturally starchy) and then pressing the top of the other piece. Slide out, plate it and enjoy (after making a few to several pieces of course) or become a machine and press out an army of rice cubes for a party.
With that said and a loose game plan in place, I tested the Rice Cube with a quinoa and brown rice combination as well as a simple jasmine garlic fried rice. The first is a twist on umeboshi (pickled plum) onigiri minus the seaweed and not shaped in a triangle. I’m not hating on nori, its simply a matter of forgotfulness. The latter is a simple out of the rice cooker jasmine fried rice with slivers of garlic, diced Chinese sausage, chopped cucumber and scrambled eggs. As you can see in the below gallery, the jasmine rice creation came out nearly flawless. However, the brown rice and quinoa mixture did not hold up as well. I think nori may be a necessity for this particular starch combination.
In short, the Rice Cube is a nifty little gadget that can change the rice appetizer making game. With some light planning and a bit of practice, anyone can work up a wide array of squared sushi cubes, shrimp biryani cubes or even cubed arroz amarillo with leftover seco de carne (cilantro beef stew). Drying out the “stew” and julienning the chuck roast will be mandatory to make this work. On top of creating specialty rice cubes as a snack or a full on meal, I can see how the Rice Cube can encourage a “cubing” party amongst friends. So if that spawned a light bulb moments, head over to UncommonGoods, grab a Rice Cube and start creating.
A big thanks goes out to Rocky Taft of UncommonGoods for the chance to test out the Rice Cube and of course Ross Patten for inventing it.