Recipe by Li Shu
"Onigiri are Japanese rice balls. They're fun to make and are a staple of Japanese lunchboxes (bento). You can put almost anything in an onigiri; try substituting grilled salmon, pickled plums, beef, pork, turkey, or tuna with mayonnaise."
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uncooked short-grain white rice
4 1/2 cups
bonito shavings (dry fish flakes)
nori (dry seaweed), cut into 1/2-inch strips
very simple, i love making these either to snack on or for a dinner. my only change is i make a solution of white vinegar, about a cup, and 2 table spoons of sugar, and mix this with the rice before i begin. It adds just the right amount of flavor to the rice, so its not so over whelming. after adding the vinegar, just wet you hands and shape like always :D
Thought everyone might want to know. When we make this (learned from my japanese mom), we put the bonito in the middle also. But, my mom puts soy sauce on the flakes first. It kind of melts down, but makes it easier to put in the middle and gives a nice salty kick. I can't imagine eating just plain flakes with out the soy on it. I've never seen it anywhere without the soy and bonito inside. Try some flaked salmon with soy also. That is how I've always seen it or bought in Japan. Also, most of the time she puts msg (or accent) on the outside or gives it a quick shake into the batch when shaping them. Actually, every one on my japanese side does it. I don't think that they has much of a problem with msg as they do here.
I made this recipe for rice balls for my daughters international night. They turned out great! I made the mini balls and put canned salmon bits and spiced ginger in the center. I rolled them in black and white seseme seeds and put dried seaweed on others. The teens at the school loved them. I found great directions in the internet for rolling and twisting them in wet salted plastic wrap which took all the air out and made them nice and firm. (then take them out of the plastic wrap)The key is to always handle them with wet hands.
A good friend of mine that I met through anime conventions years ago was having a graduation party, and I knew a bunch of the anime crew would be there, so I thought I would make something fun as a snack! I came across this recipe after watching Fruits Basket with a friend and we decided it would be perfect. Made the first few rice balls using the recipe as-is, though we couldn't find bonito flakes, so we used some tuna salad, chicken salad and avocado instead. After making some of the plain rice ones, we elyssa's advice and added some rice vinegar, sugar and salt to the rice. The smell kind of scared us at first, but after tasting them, we were glad we did it! Both versions of the recipe get five stars from everyone at the party!
I am not a fan of bonito flakes but this is a great picnic food and you can put anything inside. In Japan they used tuna salad, salmon or pickled plum like they do in Japan Yum!
I have been making these for a while now ever since working with a Japanese fellow who's wife made these for his lunch. I became intrigued and asked him what they were and he explained and I had to try them so I went home and searched online for instructions. The only thing I do differently is use a different filling. I prefer Avocado or tuna salad in mine most of the time. Salmon is good as mentioned though as well. These are very cheap lunches and are the Japanese equivalent of a Sandwich culturally from what I understand. Very tasty! I always have a few in my fridge for a quick snack also.
I made this a few days ago while looking around the site. I finally decided I had to join so I can keep hold of this recipe. I don't care for bonito, so I used a spoonful of home made chicken salad. It was fantastic. And by following your recipe the rice turned out perfect, which is a new thing for me! Thank you so much!!
really great recipe..i used smoked salmon instead of bonito flakes in the center and it worked perfectly!! only problem was that this recipe calls for A LOT of rice and i made more than 8 and they were a lot bigger than the one in the picture i'd recommend halving the amount of rice.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Onigiri - Japanese Rice Balls
Serving Size: 1/4 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 30
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