Onigiri are the Japanese equivalent of a PB&J sandwich, something to take for a school lunch or on a picnic. One of Eilene’s Japanese class friends taught her how to make these a couple of years ago. While they are commonly formed into triangles and may have savory or salty filling, they may also be formed into simple round balls.
I am making a Japanese dinner for Sunday and I wanted something more than just a pile of steamed rice to go with it. This is not so much a recipe as a presentation. How to make something plain into something aesthetically pleasing.
Frequently, strips of nori are used to keep the rice from sticking to your hands. I decided to use Whole Spice’s Japanese Seaweed Rice Seasoning. You may substitute the more readily available Nori Komi Furikake.
Karl’s Onigiri (Rice Balls)
4 cups of cooled steamed rice
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. Japanese Seaweed Rice Seasoning
1. Steam 1½ – 2 cups of raw rice and then let it cool enough that you may easily handle it.
2. Put the seasoning in a shaker bottle with large holes.
Tip: You want the seasoning to come out easily, but not to pour out all at once.
3. Set a large bowl of water next to where you are making the rice balls and wet your hands well, so that the rice will not stick to them.
4. Sprinkle a bit of salt on your palms.
Tip: This seasons the rice as you form the balls.
5. Take about third of a cup of rice and press it between your palms to make a rice ball.
Note: Pack the rice just enough to make it stick together, but do not mash the grains of rice into a paste.
6. Put the rice ball on a small plate and sprinkle the seasoning over all sides of the rice, until it is well coated.
Tip: Roll the ball over the plate to pick up any seasoning that did not stick the first time.
7. Put the first ball on a serving plate.
8. Repeat wetting and salting your hands and repeat until you run out of rice.