Pressed Rice Cakes filled with Eggplant Sofrito
One part Martin Yan, one part Ivan Orkin equals delicious.
The base uses glutenous rice (2 cups glutenous rice, 3 cups of water, 1 tsp. salt, bring to a boil, cover, reduce to low, cook 40 minutes).
While that's cooking, make a garlic oil (cook 2 tsp. minced garlic in 1 tbs. of Canola oil, until golden, let cool).
We love chile-eggplant sofrito from Ivan Orkin's book "Ivan Ramen: Love, Obsession, and Recipes from Tokyo's Most Unlikely Noodle Joint" and have used it for other dishes, but here it really shines.
1 cup canola oil
1 large onion, minced (2 cups)
1/2 small eggplant, minced (1 1/2 cups)
2 medium tomatoes, minced (1 1/4 cups)
2 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion and eggplant and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft, about 1 hour. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have almost melted, about 1 hour. Stir in the chipotle powder and cook for 15 minutes longer; season with salt. Transfer the sofrito to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Drain the sofrito in a sieve; discard the oil or reserve it for another use.
To assemble, use a loaf pan, put a layer of plastic wrap down, brush with the garlic oil, sprinkle about 2 Tbs. of sesame seeds and press half of the rice mixture in and flatten, add the center layer of the sofrito and top with the rest of the rice, brush the top with garlic oil and sprinkle another 2 Tbs. of sesame seeds. Finally, put a second pan or more plastic wrap on top and weigh it down with a couple of heavy cans for 20 minutes. At that point, cut them into triangles and eat