Both sweet brown rice and adzuki beans can be found in sweet applications, but the natural stickiness of the rice, the soft texture of the cooked beans as well as their richly nutty flavor, make them naturals for rice cakes.
Deliberately made without egg, the cakes have a soft, delicate texture which contrasts nicely with the crunchiness of the Panko coating. For an extra touch of flavor and subtle crunch, I tossed some chia seeds in with the Panko.
The salsa is all sweet, soft, crunchy, spicy, tart and pairs so nicely with the soft, savory, subtle crunch of the rice cakes. You'll be tempted - well, I was anyway - to sit down with a spoon and gobble it up as is. Maybe plan to make extra. Sauce the cakes generously - it doesn't keep.
The rice cakes alone constitute a complete protein. They also make a perfectly comfortable bed for light fish. —boulangere
Add rice to boiling water. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover pot, and cook until done, about 20 minutes. Don't overcook, as when done just right, the hull has a pleasant subtle crunch to it. When done, transfer to a mixing bowl and spread it out to cool.
While rice is cooking, also cook the beans. Drain and rinse them, add to cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to an active simmer, cover pot and cook until done, about 30-40 minutes. When done, strain through a colander and allow them to cool a bit before adding to the rice.
Combine rice and beans and stir to blend. Don't be afraid to mash the beans a bit. Fold in scallions, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Prepare the salsa. Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside for flavors to blend while rice cakes cook.
Mix together the Panko, chia seeds, and seasonings in a square baking pan. Begin heating a skillet filmed with sesame oil to 1/4" deep. Shape cakes by first dipping your palms in some water. Pinch up sort of a tennis-ball size of the mixture. Gently coax it into an oval about 1/2" thick. Press each side softly into the Panko mixture, then place in skillet. Fry until each side is nicely golden brown; turn gently.
When done, serve 2 on each plate. Sauce generously with the salsa, add a couple of wedges of lime, and garnish the border with some drops of Siracha . . . because some like it hot!