13 Jun 2012

Onigiri おにぎり

I heart onigiri (おにぎり). Really appreciate this convenient portable rice. Easy to make, easy to carry, easy to eat, and very delicious. Often, onigiri-s form into flat triangle, flat round, or cylindrical roll, and with various kinds of stuffing.

I made my very first onigiri probably about 7 years ago. A friend from Kita Kyushu (北九州) demonstrated it to me by just using warm white rice, a bit of salt and nori seaweed. I still remember, later on when she found out I always use onigiri mold, she kept encouraging me to grip just bare hands.

Show here of how to make mini onigiri using triangle onigiri mold. You can easily get such molds in different shapes at Daiso, 100Yen shops or Japanese supermarkets.

My rice cup, 1 full cup, is about 175~180 ml. ‘Japanese rice cup’ counts as 1 (1 gou) which is 180 ml. Do note that, different rice cookers, different rice (new or old, the rice type), & etc, might require slightly different amount of water. As for me, for onigiri my ratio is, 1 part of rice : 1 2/3 part of water.

Important to note that, for Japanese and the Japanese rice (short grain rice), after washing, they soak the rice with water for half an hour before cooking in rice cooker. My Kita Kyushu friend told she will normally soak for 1 hour or so.

Onigiri is not a form of sushi. Use warm rice and do not vinegar it. Also, need not to dip it with shouyu and wasabi. Repeat, it is not a sushi!                     

Onigiri / Japanese Rice Balls・おにぎり
300 g cooked Japanese rice
optional: 1.25 ~ 1.5 TBsp furikake (ふりかけ), any flavour
   1/2 can tuna flake
   mayonnaise (Kewpie brand)
   optional: pinch of salt, dash of black pepper, drops of lime juice
some yaki nori (toasted seaweed sheets) (海苔)

First of all, cook the rice! For better result: without openning the lid, leave the cooked rice inside the rice cooker for another 5 minutes longer than usual for well settled.

Meantime, prepare the mayo-tuna. Ready a big bowl of water.
Optional: sprinkle some furikake to the warm cooked rice, mixed them up gently. Plain warm rice is absolutely fine too.

Wet the onigiri mold & its cap. Shake off excess water. Spoon the rice in, filling about 1/3, make a little valley in the center. Spoon some mayo-tuna onto the center.

Again, spoon the rice in to fill slightly exceeding the mold.

Press the rice down with the mold’s cap. Release the cap.

Flip out releasing the onigiri.

I made this one by hand. It would be messy a bit (though I cleaned my hands already so as to hold the camera).

For better result: rinse the mold & cap in the bowl of water. Shake off excess water. Repeat the process to mold the next onigiri. This recipe will make 5 mini onigiri-s. See below, left row by using triangle mold, right one by hand.

Wrap with a piece of nori seaweed. (Or, serve the nori separately.)

As for the nori of onigiri, there are 2 streams: pari-pari パリパリ or shittori しっとり. Pari-pari is crispy while shittori is damp.

I love my nori that is pari-pari. Usually I serve onigiri and nori separately. When I take my onigiri-s out, for picnic, go to hospital, or occasions that I want to have a quick bite, I carry a separate pack of nori with me. By the time I wanna eat it only I wrap my onigiri up. So, which do you like better, pari-pari or shittori?

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