Allen Lim Rice Cakes, VEGANIZED!

Vegan rice cake ready to wrap and go!

Vegan rice cake ready to wrap and go!

I took a chance on ordering Allen Lim’s book The Feed Zone Cookbook  from Amazon sight unseen. It did not appear to be particularly veg friendly, but I took a chance on it because of Allen Lim’s experience with pro cycling teams. I figured that I could probably find some recipe ideas, and even if I had to modify them. I also got the impression that the stories of feeding pro cyclists during long training days and stage races could be informative as well as entertaining.

But what really attracted me to the book is the myth of Allen Lim’s famous rice cakes. Lim had experience with what the pros call “gut rot” or GI distress coming from an over reliance on sweet sports nutrition, and his solution was savory whole foods. Being of Chinese descent, Lim was partial to white rice, but he found that this low fiber, high carbohydrate food to be very beneficial for athletes. His story of traveling Europe searching for the right kind of rice and rice cookers is almost worth the price of the book.

Enter the Rice Cake

The original recipe combines cooked medium grain calrose rice (sticky like sushi rice) bacon, eggs, and sweet and savory seasonings. Definitely not vegan, and my first reaction was Ewww! I cannot picture eating bacon and eggs on the bike and surviving. But then I thought about the salty, savory taste, and noticed that the bacon and eggs were more for flavoring. So I set out to veganize it while keeping the flavor intact. I substituted a tofu scramble and tempeh bacon strips for the bacon and eggs, and eased up on the seasoning since the tempeh strips were very seasoned.

1 cup calrose rice

1 lb firm tofu

8 strips tempeh bacon strips

2 T nutritional yeast

1 t mustard

1 t onion powder

1 t garlic powder

1/2 t turmeric

1/2 t cumin


Cook the rice

While the rice cooks, saute the tempeh strips until done. Refer to package instructions. Set aside. Scramble and cook tofu with remaining ingredients until done. In a large mixing bowl, combine rice, diced tempeh strips and tofu scramble. Mix well so that flavors are evenly distributed. Spread mixture into a rectangular casserole dish, cover and refrigerate until cool.

Rice cakes done and ready to wrap

Rice cakes done and ready to wrap

To package:

Cut rice cakes into single servings, and wrap in aluminum foil, or parchment paper then foil.

Stuff ’em in your pockets and go!


About vegpedlr

Plant powered off-road triathlete
This entry was posted in Portable, Starches and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Allen Lim Rice Cakes, VEGANIZED!

  1. davetrendler says:

    There are 104 vegetarian and 104 gluten-free recipes in The Feed Zone Cookbook. Thanks for your review!

  2. thanks for this! i was considering using silken tofu as the egg replacement but was scouring the internet looking to see if anyone else had done so. thanks for the suggestion of firm. I’ll probably try both

  3. PamG says:

    I tried making this yesterday. Mine turned out kind of crumbly. I don’t think I missed any steps. Any tips for making it hold together well? Will baking help?

    • vegpedlr says:

      Unfortunately, they are a bit crumbly. Without the food industry chemistry of processed packaged food, they don’t stick that strongly. But there are a couple things to remember to make them hold together as best they can. Make sure you use the right rice, a short to medium grain white rice, either calrose or sushi. The higher water content makes it sticky. Brown rice or long grain won’t work. Second, really pack it down into the container. In the photos, I use a rectangular plastic container and I really press down hard and pack it down. I’ve broken a spatula doing this! Refrigerate for awhile. When wrapping them individually in foil, squeeze them again tightly.

      I don’t know about baking. I would worry that they would dry out and become more crumbly. Try it and see. There might be a new variation.

  4. Rick P says:

    These were Awesome. I didn’t have the Tempeh bacon so I made some dehydrated eggplant bacon and added it on the top. I also added some french fried onions into it to add more salt and flavor and I used kala namak (black salt) to give it more of an eggy taste. mine stuck together really well I used sushi rice I could see these being more difficult using regular white rice or brown rice because it crumbles when refrigerated.

    I am always looking for homemade recipies for food while on the bike for long hours. It’s difficult going to gas stations midway through a ride to find the only thing you can eat is a jar of pickles. Although pickles are tasty.

    • vegpedlr says:

      Glad you like them! They take a little effort to make, but you get a lot of tasty food for cheap in return. My recent successes have been goji-walnut and blueberry-cacao. In an interview with one of the creators, he said you can basically mix in anything you like as long as the rice is sticky. I’m just trying to figure out how to eat things on the MTB without crashing…

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