Saturday, September 24, 2011

Make your own onigiri (Japanese rice ball)

A friend recently came back from Taiwan and brought us a pack of nori. Or what I originally thought was nori (thin seaweed used for soup or sushi). At the time I saw it I was wondering why she gave us nori. Must be some special nori. But then she pointed out that it's a DIY onigiri. Make your own Japanese style rice ball.

The package came with sheets of nori, a mold for the rice ball and plastic sheets to wrap up the onigiri. Onigiri was meant as an easy way to bring rice, either for lunch or picnic. In Japan, the rice used for making onigiri is sometimes lightly salted and some others have filling like pickled ume, salmon, kombu,etc.

Anyhow, after it's been seating a while in our pantry, we finally got to make our onigiri. When we first tried it out, we tried with the furikake (rice seasoning) as the filling. But it didn't turn out well because the rice ball tend to split up due to the filling. Later on I figured out another way which is to mix the rice well with the furikake before shaping it in the mold. This way all the rice will get more taste of the seasoning.

We used up our plastic sheets wrap on that one occasion. These days when we make our onigiri, we use the shrink wrap. It's not as pretty but works well.