Black Rice Fritters with Chimichurri – a Hanukkah Friendly Entree Recipe

Black Rice Fritters with Chimichurri
Black Rice Fritters with Chimichurri

It is traditional for Hanukkah to eat foods cooked in oil, but after a few days of killer latkes and bunuelos, I think we all feel the need to lighten things up a bit. These black rice fritters are pan fried, creating a crispy, satisfying chew, but without absorbing too much fat. The brightly flavored chimichurri (an Argentine parsley sauce) adds a bright, acidic counterpoint.

I developed this recipe for Hinode, which brings in a lovely black rice from Thailand that is has a longer grain and lighter texture than the “forbidden rice” you might be familiar with. It was a neat opportunity for me to work with a brand that I like very much to go through the whole process of deciding on a recipe that uses their products, developing and testing it, and then taking the photographs.

The recipe calls for smoked paprika, which is one of my favorite ways to incorporate complex, smoky flavors into meatless meals. If you don’t have it, you can omit it, or substitute a few pinches of plain paprika and cayenne, but I really recommend picking up the smoked Spanish kind if at all possible.

Hinode Black Rice Fritters with Chimichurri
Vegetarian and gluten free
Yields 12 fritters, serving 4 as an entree

For the chimichurri

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped fine or pressed
  • 1 cup well-rinsed parsley leaves, lightly packed
  • 1 cup well-rinsed cilantro leaves, lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced (or add to food processor before herbs)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  1. In a small food processor, combine the olive oil and garlic and run until the garlic is well distributed. If you don’t feel like mincing the onion by hand, you can add it in chunks now, but it won’t look as nice. If you don’t have a small food processor, make a double batch as a full size machine won’t work well on this small quantity.
  2. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, pepper and vinegar and process until minced but with still a bit of texture left in the leaves.
  3. Remove from the food processor and mix in the onions and capers.
  4. Taste and adjust salt, pepper and vinegar as needed.

For the black rice fritters

  • 3 cups cooked and cooled Hinode black rice (1 cup dry, cooked according to package directions)
  • 2 eggs, beaten with a fork
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Several grinds black pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • Flaky sea salt
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the rice, eggs, smoked paprika, kosher salt, and pepper.
  2. Line a plate with paper towels. Place a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil and swirl it around the pan. Take about 1/4 cup of the fritter mixture, place it in the pan and press down to form a pancake, about 5″ in diameter. Fry until golden brown one side, about 2 minutes, then flip and cook until the other side is golden brown. Remove to the paper towel-lined plate and add a few grains of flaky salt. Repeat for the remaining fritters, working in batches so as not to crowd the pan.
  3. Serve hot with the chimichurri sauce on the side.
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Posted by Michael Natkin on Monday, November 26th, 2012 in Gluten-Free or modifiable, Main Courses, Recipes, Sauces and Condiments.

15 Responses to “Black Rice Fritters with Chimichurri – a Hanukkah Friendly Entree Recipe”

  1. Reply
    November 26, 2012 at 7:33 am #

    This sounds yummy. What can I substitute for the eggs as we don’t eat eggs, not vegan but no eggs. Thanks so much, Amisha.

    • Reply
      November 26, 2012 at 9:03 am #

      Hey Amisha –

      I haven’t tried, but you could give something like N-R-G brand egg replacer a go. If you do, let me know how it works out.

      • Reply
        November 26, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

        Thanks. EnerG is great for baking. I’m trying to figure out what else will bind. I’m guessing that’s what the egg is used for.

  2. Reply
    November 26, 2012 at 8:14 am #

    Love black rice. Looking forward to trying this recipe. I am one of those people who is not too fond of cilantro. Do you think if i substituted basil or tarragon with the cilantro it woud taste good with this dish?

    • Reply
      November 26, 2012 at 9:04 am #

      For the chimichurri, if I didn’t want to use cilantro, I’d just use double the parsley, or mostly parsley and a little fresh oregano.

  3. Reply
    November 26, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    Sigh, I know you put the capers and cilantro in your chimichurri but those items are really not used in Argentina for Chimichurri. My family there does not ever use cilantro. Or capers! Some of them will add the oregano if they have it and crushed red pepper is a must. That being said, I am going to try this with brown rice because I have it! Then I will look for black rice.

    • Reply
      November 26, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

      Hey Donna – you are absolutely right that I take some liberties with the name chimichurri!

  4. Reply
    November 26, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    Gorgeous! I love rice cakes cooked like this–it’s our favorite use of Little Uncle leftovers (we mix the leftover sauce in too before frying). The colors and flavors here are so lovely, I’m looking forward to mixing up the latke tradition with these this year! The other Hanukkah meal I make annually is this decadent french toast: link to 🙂

    • Reply
      November 26, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

      Oooh, that French toast looks terrific.

  5. Reply
    November 28, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    Yum! I’m also a huge fan of smoked paprika for that extra umani-boost in veggie dishes. These look so yummy– who can resist fritters? And the chimichurri to brighten everything up… I can’t wait to give these babies a whirl!

  6. Reply
    December 1, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    These fritters look like a lovely alternative to the requisite latkes that are so abundant during hannukah. Do you think flax or chia gel would work as well as eggs as a binder? Or perhaps some mashed black beans. Looks like I have some experimenting to do!

    • Reply
      December 2, 2012 at 7:57 am #

      You know, I just don’t have enough experience with alternative binders in situations like this to have an opinion. If you try one, please let us know how it turns out.

  7. Reply
    August 26, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    can i use brown rice instead of black rice as black rice is not available in our place ?

    • Reply
      August 27, 2013 at 7:06 am #


  8. Reply
    November 14, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    Totally making these next week. They seem tastey but LOOK beautiful as well.

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