Happy Halloween everyone! I found the idea for these Jack-O-Lantern Carrot Rice Balls on Apron Strings. I loved the idea of adding some orange color to the rice without the addition of artificial food coloring. The original recipe makes the balls bite-size, but I made them closer to about 1/2 cup for personal serving sizes. Instead of olives, I used Nori so I could cut out larger faces. I searched Jack-O Lantern faces on Google images and let Evan pick out his favorites. I used green onion pieces for the stems. You can also use green beans or green bell peppers.
I used my craft knife from scrapbooking to cut out the Jack-O-Lantern faces. Make sure whatever you use is very sharp to keep it from catching on the nori fibers and tearing. Nori is a thin seaweed often used for rolling sushi. It is sometimes called laver. I have been able to find it at many supermarkets in the Asian food section or at Asian Food Markets. It is also available on Amazon: Premium Quality 50 Sheet Toasted Sushi Nori, 3.5-Ounce Pouches and Earth Circle Organics Raw Organic Nori Seaweed, 10 Sheet Bag.
Jack-O-Lantern Carrot Rice
Adapted from Apron Strings
~4 large (1/2-3/4 cup) pumpkins
1 1/2 cups medium or short grain rice
2 cups carrot juice
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 sheet nori
1 green onion
In a rice cooker, combine rice, carrot juice, water, and salt. Cook according to manufacturer settings. To make in a saucepan: bring carrot juice, water, and salt to a boil. Add rice, cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook until all the liquid has absorbed (without removing lid), about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, remove cover, and allow to come to room temperature.
Use a craft knife, paring knife, or scissors to cut desired jack-o-lantern shapes out of nori.
Discard the white and light green sections of green onion. Cut the dark green blades into 1 inch pieces.
Place a small bowl of water next to work surface. Wet hands and form 1/2-3/4 cups of room temperature rice into a ball. Use your thumb to make a small indentation on the top. Put on a serving platter and repeat with remaining rice. Carefully press cut out nori pieces in desired pattern on the front of each ball of rice. Push the end of the green onion piece into the indentation on the top. Serve immediately.