4:00AM Wednesday Dec 31, 2008
By Lincoln Tan
Raymond Njoto says rice rolls are a cross between sushi and a Subway roll. Photo / Martin Sykes
You can do with rice what you do with bread, says Raymond Njoto, who holds the master franchise of Taiwanese rice roll chain QQ Rice for Australia and New Zealand.
"When people think about making a sandwich, they always think of bread, but you can actually make a rice sandwich as well," Mr Njoto says.
He describes the rice rolls as a cross between the Japanese sushi and the Subway sandwich, but says it is a traditional Taiwanese meal.
The rice rolls - which seem to be uniquely Taiwanese - could have been inspired by the sushi during the time when Taiwan was a Japanese colony between 1895 and 1945.
"Just picture Subway, but instead of bread, think of it as having rice as a base," says Mr Njoto.
So instead of different types of bread, you can choose from white, purple, red, brown, wheat-germ or wild rice, and fillings such as smoked salmon, spicy radish, barbecued pork and teriyaki chicken.
These are then rolled into a rice ball and, depending on your choice of grains and filling, it could well be a very healthy meal.
Taiwanese immigrant Jessie Chiang says the rice roll is a popular "picnic food" there, because it can be eaten hassle-free without the need for fork or chopsticks.
"To prepare, all we need is a plastic bag."
Rice is lined at the base of the plastic bag, the filling such as braised minced pork is added, and then it is all squeezed into a compact rice ball.
* Where to try
QQ Rice, 15-31 Wellesley St West. Rice rolls are priced from $5.20.
* Make your own
Ingredients: Steamed or boiled rice, fillings and sauces of your choice.
Method: Spread rice over a plastic wrap, add fillings and cover it with rice. Roll it tightly with the plastic wrap or plastic bag into a ball, and it's ready to be eaten. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=10550083