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Recipes / Crunchy Brown Rice Cheese Skirt with Kimchi Salad

Crunchy Brown Rice Cheese Skirt with Kimchi Salad

By Kerri Conan

Published February 20, 2024

You’ve seen cheese ooze out of a sandwich or ​enchilada​ into the pan, right? It bubbles for a few seconds before turning golden and crisp. Sort of like the simplest Italian frico, only we prefer to call it a “cheese skirt.” Now imagine this skirt has a little crunch when you bite down, like a rice cracker.

Photo: Kerri Conan
Photo: Kerri Conan
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This surprising technique uses brown rice cereal straight out of the bag, with results that are perfect to eat with a piquant salad, either on the side or crumbled in like croutons. For that matter, brown rice cheese skirts are terrific with soup, scrambled eggs, beans, or steamed vegetables. They’re so easy and stay crunchy in the fridge for days. The only thing is you need a mild, not-too-salty, quick-melting cheese; something between mozzarella and aged cheddar—like Jack—works best. 

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Crunchy Brown Rice Cheese Skirt with Kimchi Salad

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Makes 2 main or 4 side servings 1x

Time 30 minutes

Scale

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Grate the cheese on the small holes of a box grater or chop it into bits the size of corn kernels. You should have about 1 cup. Put the cheese in a medium bowl with the brown rice cereal. Use your hands or a soft spatula to press the cereal into the cheese as much as possible. The idea is to distribute the cereal evenly but don’t worry if there’s some in the bottom of the bowl; you’ll take care of that in the next step.
  2. Get a wire rack handy and put a medium or large non-stick skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. When it’s hot, scoop a slightly heaping 1/4 cup of the cheese and cereal mixture into the center of a large non-stick or cast iron skillet or griddle and use a fork to scatter the mixture into a thin, even layer 5- to 6-inches across. Sprinkle some of the remaining cereal from the bottom of the bowl on top of the cheese. (If your cooking surface has space for more than one, or you’re making small ones as described in the variation, go ahead and do multiple skirts at the same time.)
  3. As the cheese bubbles and melts, you can continue to spread the mixture out evenly or fuss a little to make an even circle. (Or not!) Cook until the edges of the skirt turn golden and you can easily slip a spatula underneath to turn it, 3 to 5 minutes. Cook the other side until it’s golden and you can see and smell that the cereal is slightly toasted, another minute or 2. Be patient; turning up the heat to speed things along can make the cheese rubbery and the cereal too dark. As the skirts finish, transfer them to the wire rack to cool and crisp.
  4. While the skirts cool, prepare the salad. Rinse the greens and pat or spin them dry. Chop the kimchi into bits and put it in a large bowl. Add the sesame oil and a few drops of lemon juice or rice vinegar and stir. Toss in the greens and taste and add salt and pepper or more acidity if you’d like. Divide among plates or bowls and serve with a cheese skirt on top.

— Recipe developed by The Bittman Project for Bob’s Red Mill

Recipe variations

Crunchy Brown Rice Cheese Skirt Canapes
Gather one or two toppings like hummus, tapenade, egg salad, roughly mashed avocadoes or cooked vegetables, chopped seasoned tomatoes, or slaw. Instead of making 4 large skirts, sprinkle heaping tablespoons of the cheese and cereal mixture onto the hot griddle or pan into 12 to 16 circles about 2 inches across. When the skirts cool, top them as you like and garnish with fresh chopped herbs.