A Fearless Guide to Food and Travel

Lemongrass Basil Couscous Cakes Lemongrass Basil Couscous Cakes

“Save it for a rainy day.”

I must have heard this phrase a hundred times growing up and when MarocBaba moved to the US it was one of the first idioms he learned in English. My dad said (and still says!) this regularly in reference to just about anything but specifically money. Even now, 10 years later whenever he hears this, MarocBaba laughs and says “remember when your dad said that?”

One of the most frightening things about working freelance is that money can dry up, so having a rainy day fund becomes a necessity more than a comfort. Our trip to Finland this month was wonderful but also cost some of reserves. When we got home we were met with several bills and unexpected costs – “when it rains it pours,” right?

I’m not a saver. I’m terrible about putting money aside, but I am not terrible about setting food aside. So while we were stretching our budget to make it through, I was utilizing my thriftiness in the kitchen and using some of the supplies I had saved. One of my creations were these Lemongrass Basil Couscous Cakes using Saffron Road’s simmer sauce.

Lemongrass Basil Text

We have couscous for lunch every Friday and I love eating leftovers. But sometimes there’s more leftovers than anyone wants to eat. Sometimes it goes to waste but I’ve been looking for ways I can re-purpose too. That’s how I came up with these. I was craving Eggs Benedict and it got me thinking about English muffins, which led me to think about other things that could go under a poached egg and…now you see how my mind works! There are lots of ways you could make these, but I was really happy with how these turned out.

vertical lemongrass basil couscous cakes

Lemongrass Basil Couscous Cakes


  • 2 cups leftover couscous (with meat/vegetables is fine!)
  • white of 1 egg
  • 2 tsp Saffron Road Lemongrass Basil Simmer Sauce
  • 1/4 cup + flour
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • Add couscous to a large bowl and use the back of a fork to mash together the couscous grains with the vegetables. I do this quite a bit to get in as many vegetables as possible without my kids recognizing them.
  • Mix in the white of 1 egg and 2 tsp Saffron Road Lemongrass Basil simmer sauce.
  • Slowly add flour. You may need to add a little bit more or a little bit less depending on how wet the couscous was to start with. The "dough" should not be firm, but not so thin that it falls apart if you form a ball in your hand.
  • Add vegetable oil to a skillet to be 1/4" deep and heat on medium until oil begins to gently bubble.
  • Form a small ball in your hand with the couscous and place into the oil.
  • Do not flip it until you see the edges begin to brown (about 5 minutes).
  • Cook on both sides until browned, then remove from the oil and place on paper towels to drain excess oil.

Disclaimer: I am a paid brand ambassador for Saffron Road Foods. All opinions, and recipes are my own. 

Did you enjoy this article?

Signup today and receive our free monthly newsletter and special updates! We will never share or sell your email address.

Amanda Mouttaki

Curious world traveling, mom of two busy boys, foodie at heart, addicted to social media and lover of all things Moroccan.

  • Chris

    February 1, 2014 #1 Author

    They look and sound like a great idea, something to keep in mind. Dipping in something with harissa sounds even better then!


    • Amanda Mouttaki

      February 5, 2014 #2 Author

      harissa sauce seems to be really on demand for this one! I might need to re-tweak it!


  • Stacy

    January 30, 2014 #3 Author

    I am with Vanessa! They look beautiful and would be great with a spicy sauce for dipping!


  • Vanessa @FrenchFoodieMom

    January 29, 2014 #4 Author

    These would make a fun appetizer. I’d love a harisa infused sauce to dip them in!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.