Recipe: Onigiri, Japanese rice balls (Japan)

Have you heard about Onigiri? In Japan, it is eaten like a snack or a meal. Japanese rice is short grain and it is very important to wash the rice, before cooking, to clean out all the starch. The first wash, the water is white. I usually wash about 7 to 8 times, until I see the water is completely clean. For every cup of rice you need 1,5 cups of water and a pinch of salt. I have a rice cooker, so it cooks, steams until rice is done. If you do not have a rice cooker, please cook as follow:

1. Wash as indicated above, then drain all water and add 1,5 cup of water for every cup of rice you want to cook/steam and a little salt. I cook for my family just one cup and that is plenty for dinner and lunch. I have two small children and my husband. We eat little portions.

2. Bring water to boil, cover and lower heat to low and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until you see, some holes in the rice. Before opening the cover, once you stop heat, let the rice rest for about 5 minutes and then open lid. Mix the rice.

Alternative flavors for onigiri:

You can buy mix flakes for onigiri, there are different flavors such as:
– salmon
– umeboshi (japanese plums)
– egg (dry)
– katsuobushi (bonito flakes)

If you do not like any of the mix, you can make your one, for example:
-Example 1: Buy dry bonito flakes (katsuobushi), add to your rice, about 2 TBSP and mix with a pinch of soy salt.
-Example 2: Aonori (chopped seaweed) with some sesame seeds.
-Example 3: only with little salt. (Traditional onigiri) with some seaweed around your onigiri.
-Example 4: inside the onigiri you can add: umeboshi, tuna fish salad, egg, cucumber, or your favorite anything. Have fun!

Onigiri are most enjoyed in picnics, sports day, going to the park, on the go for long travels in trains and cars OR when you are sick and do not have appetites.

A tradition from Japan:
Susana @ Delicioso y Divertido

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