Friday, September 3, 2010

Oats and Rice Sausage -- No, really.

I can't believe this worked.

I mean, the taste of sausage is pretty easy to imitate because it's about the spices, not the meat itself.  But when I finally got around to this recipe from, which had been sitting on my desktop for months, I started having doubts.  A "fake" protein made out of grains?  Can you do that?  And the cold goopy batter did not taste or smell like sausage at all.  Oh well, I thought, if it's an epic failure I'll just have wasted a little bit of rice and oatmeal--probably like $0.20 worth of ingredients in all.

But this morning I took the patties out of the fridge and fried up a few of them in the old cast-iron skillet... and there was sausage!  Between the flax, the flour, the oats, and the rice, there's plenty holding the patties together, and the outside gets lovely crispy when fried.  The bits of rice recall the, er, irregularities in meat-based sausages (but not so gross).  I thought the flavor was really fantastic.  I'm glad I added fennel to the original recipe, as this seems like a must-have to me.  I also tweaked the amounts of other flavors and spices, omitting the rosemary, adding way more red pepper, and simplifying with the assumption that (low sodium soy sauce) + (salt) = (normal tamari).  As for method, I did not use biscuit cutters as the original recipe called for: the batter was too sticky, and it seemed easier to just make patties with my (well-floured) hands.  I also don't have a full-size food processor, but mixing by hand worked just fine.

And, I've totally come to terms with the issue of using grains to make sausage: it's mostly rice and oatmeal, totally respectable complex-carb breakfast foods that also contain quite a lot of fiber and protein.  And it's way better than oatmeal.

Oats and Rice Sausage
(adapted from

1 c cooked brown rice
3/4 c oats
2 TB whole wheat flour
1 TB ground flax seed + 3 TB warm water
1 TB molasses
2 TB canola oil, plus more for frying
1 TB nutritional yeast
1 1/2 TB tamari
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/8-1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground sage
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp fennel seeds

1. In a blender or food processor, grind the dry oats to a coarse powder.  Remove oats and grind cooked rice similarly.  In a mixing bowl, combine rice and oats with all the other ingredients.  Mix well--you may wish to use a fork or pastry cutter.
2. With floured hands, form the mixture into small, thin, round patties.
3. Heat oil over medium heat in a cast-iron skillet.  Fry patties for about 3 minutes on each side, covering the pan if splatters occur.  Makes about 6 patties.


Shyvonne Yarbrough said...

These are really good! I associate Italian sausage with fennel so I left it out in favor of just the sage. My meat loving husband requested it with his eggs next time! Plant based diet one, processed junk zero!. I used a vitamix to grind oats and rice so my texture was a little different a little like scrapple on the inside for those of you that are familiar. Flavor was spot on! Great way to add some variety. Will definitely make again. Came together in about 20 minutes. My mix was sticky but not goopy. Probably because my grains were both floured. Really excited about this recipe! Thanks.

Julia said...

So glad you liked it! I usually make tempeh sausage because it's faster, but these are a treat whenever I get around to making them.