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Onigiri


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onigiriFB welcome to eGullet!!

Great blog! you should try posting some of your onigiri pictures here. :biggrin:

Thank you for the welcome Torakris. I have to tell you btw I'm a big fan of yours. Love all your posts and great pics :wub: Umm... I haven't quite figured out how to post pictures yet. I think I read somewhere we can't just link from flickr? Any help would be appreciated. :smile:

Wow....Torakris, you are a rockstar!

This thread actually gave me an idea what to do with the turkey leftover. Onigiri with turkey and cran relish.

Leave the gun, take the canoli

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Thank you for the welcome Torakris.  I have to tell you btw I'm a big fan of yours. Love all your posts and great pics   :wub:  Umm... I haven't quite figured out how to post pictures yet. I think I read somewhere we can't just link from flickr? Any help would be appreciated.  :smile:

Wow thanks. :biggrin:

For pictures it is best that you use ImageGullet this way the pictures will remain on the site forever. :biggrin: Pictures that have been hosted elsewhere tend to get lost in cyberspace after a while....

EDIT

oops forgot to give the link that tells how to do it....

step by step ImageGullet!

Edited by torakris (log)

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I am getting some oniigiri moulds in few weeks my grocery supplier told me he'll restock soon

Onigiri molds? But it's such a letdown! Onigiri should be made by hand.

Yes but I'm always short changed when I go to buy them because the japanese get them first. I wonder why?

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  • 2 months later...

So I read and read the posts and links and hyped myself up to make these rice balls.

Made the rice, formed the shapes. 3 balls and 3 of the more bullet shaped ones I saw on the map that shows the different shapes for different areas of japan. I was pleased. Then I tried to fill them with scallops, and umeboshi paste. Disaster, hahaha, so apparently you have to form and fill them while the rice is still hot. I ended up getting fresh tuna and just having a big bowl of rice with a few strips of tuna and nori and ginger soy sauce. A mistake, but a tastey one nonetheless.

Are those molds just called Onigiri molds? I need some I think.

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Are those molds just called Onigiri molds? I need some I think.

You definitely do not need molds to do the traditional triangle shape. Just wet your hands, salt a little and form away with your filling in the center. This graphic shows the technique.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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Are those molds just called Onigiri molds? I need some I think.

You definitely do not need molds to do the traditional triangle shape. Just wet your hands, salt a little and form away with your filling in the center. This graphic shows the technique.

Printed and ready to go!

Thanks!

Once I read <b>torakris </b> say she made them for breakfast and lunch ive been craving them. So one weekend of making rice balls is ahead of me.

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nocturnalsusnshine,

Welcome to eGullet and the Japan forum!

If anyone could make perfect onigiri on their first try I would really be amazed. :biggrin:

For me the triangle shape are the easiest. I scoop the hot rice (straight out of the rice cooker) onto my wet, salted hands. If I am filling them I add it now before I shape them. I then use my hands as a mold, constantly rotating the rice to get a perfect shape.

With a lot of practice you will be able to do it, but don't sweat it I know quite a few Jaapnese women who can't make onigiri without a mold either....

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 1 month later...

I usually rub salt over my wet palms quite thoroughly to take care of any lurking bugs. (Of course I wash my hands before I start... :biggrin: ). I'm not keen on pressing really hot rice into plastic wrap, but that's a personal thing.

I have very long fingers, so if I make a small onigiri, I just use 3 fingers to squeeze, and keep the onigiri well centered on my palm. Hard to explain, but if I have to bend my index finger to make the onigiri smaller, of course the shape is not so neatly triangular!

One hint that really made it easier to make onigiri that don't crumble: squeeze the rice quite firmly into a ball (around the filling) first, then squeeze/toss more gently round in your palm to make it triangular.

Omusubi: when I lived in Osaka, nobody used the word "onigiri". It sounded strange to me then, something like "Death-grip Rice Balls".

Onigiri: Since I moved to the Tokyo area, I doubt if I've heard "omusubi" more than once or twice in over 15 years.

Yaki-onigiri. My main problem with these is that I'm impatient. Any nice tips for making the type which is totally encased in a crisp shoyu/mirin coating, without having it stick to the grill?

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Yaki-onigiri. My main problem with these is that I'm impatient. Any nice tips for making the type which is totally encased in a crisp shoyu/mirin coating, without having it stick to the grill?

Good question! I did googling and found some solutions to your problem. I'll make yaki-onigiri and post the best solution later.

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I'll look forward to that, Hiroyuki. I googled "yakionigiri" and "jouzunatukurikata" and found that quite a few people recommend leaving the firmly-shaped onigiri to dry for a half-day before grilling. Sounds like a good idea!

That won't be necessary. :biggrin:

I think I've found the best solution to your problem: Heat the grid on high heat enough before placing onirigi.

1. Heat the grid on high heat, with no onigiri on it.

(I didn't measure the time, but I think I heated it for al least two minutes.)

2. Place onigiri on it. Lower the heat. Let the bottom of the onigiri dry.

Don't touch the onigiri or turn them over. A common mistake is to touch or turn over the onigiri too early or too often.

(I let them dry for about two minutes.)

3. Turn them over.

Voila! No rice grains are stuck on the grid!

(I was successful with two out of three. For one, one or two rice grains were stuck on the grid.)

Then, you can apply seasoning such as a mixture of miso and sake (or mirin) or soy sauce.

Is this solution too time-consuming?

Edited to add:

Let me add a link to this wonderful serious of pictures, apparently drawn by some nursery school kids.

Edited by Hiroyuki (log)
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I used to have no trouble with them - so I couldn't figure out what the problem was. Reading your method, I think I probably didn't preheat the grill long enough, and undoubtedly impatiently turned them over too soon! :hmmm: .

I tried a couple this afternoon, taking care to mold them extra firmly, and they were fine! Whew!

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what i find very annoying about onigiri sold in the combini in LA is that they are usually (by the time i get to them) too cold.

in america, onigiri have to be stored at 40 f (5 c). anyone who makes steamed rice regularly and has leftovers knows what happenes to refrigerated rice. yuck.

apparently in japan, onigiri can be kept at a much higher temp (almost 70 f -- 20 c). which would mean a much more pleasant experience.

i once read that 7-11 wanted to roll out onigiri to the 7-11** stores in america. with the laws the way they are, they would be so unappetising that no one would like them. i hope the laws can be changed. some of the laws are too stringent here.

:angry:<blockquote><blockquote><i><a href="http://groups.google.com/group/rec.food.cooking/msg/c01a301beb3d4a65?dmode=source&hl=en">** rec.food.cooking usenet posting of a cnn posting</a></i></blockquote></blockquote>

Edited by melonpan (log)
"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo
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apparently in japan, onigiri can be kept at a much higher temp (almost 70 f -- 20 c).  which would mean a much more pleasant experience.

Oh, I didn't know that! I did a google search and found you were right. In convenience stores in Japan, onigiri, bento, and bread are kept to 20 C.

Don't convenience stores in the United States have a microwave so that the store staff can reheat the onigiri and other foodstuffs that customers have just bought? In Japan, you are always asked if you want such foodstuffs reheated.

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  • 4 months later...

Today's lunch:

yesterday's brown rice (about 3 cups cooked rice) mixed with 1 tsp or so of pickled sansho berries, and 1 tab of homemade pickled "gari" ginger, chopped finely and squeezed. Onigiri were filled with homemade sake-soboro (soak salt salmon slices a little to remove salt, then simmer in water and sake, remove flesh, and cook with a dash of shoyu and some mirin until flakey), and wrapped in nori. Nara-zuke pickles on the side (gourd pickled in sake lees).

gallery_7941_1113_2530.jpg

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Today's lunch:

yesterday's brown rice (about 3 cups cooked rice) mixed with 1 tsp or so of pickled sansho berries, and 1 tab of homemade pickled "gari" ginger, chopped finely and squeezed. Onigiri were filled with homemade sake-soboro (soak salt salmon slices a little to remove salt, then simmer in water and sake, remove flesh, and cook with a dash of shoyu and some mirin until flakey), and wrapped in nori. Nara-zuke pickles on the side (gourd pickled in sake lees).

gallery_7941_1113_2530.jpg

How can you turn brown rice into rice balls? :blink: It's so easy to disintegrate, isn't it? Anyway, I've never made brown rice balls.

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I love onigiri. They are a perfect snack. I make a few for long road trips. I like to put sundried tomato and fresh basil in the middle. If I want something sweet, I don't know if this would be considered wierd but I put a touch of orange marmalade or strawberry perserve in the middle.

Edited by Lynn Shipp (log)
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Welcome to the Japan Forum, Lynn Shipp!  I'm really sorry that torakris, the forum host, is on vacation right now.

Tell us more about your adventurous eating habits. :biggrin:

Thank you for the warm welcome! I promise to definitely post my cooking adventures. I like Japanese food very much. Where I live we have a few Japanese restaurants. However, its nothing like NYC or LA. I always wish to visit those cities so I can try a variety of Japanese restaurants.

It's also a wish of mine to visit Yokohama. My Japanese penpal of five years visited me this year. It was a real treat hanging out with him. If I visit, he said he would be sure to show me around and I can have some authentic Japanese food. :)

But for now, I settle for some the local restaurants and my local grocer who has a sushi chef. I am big big big lover of Unagi.

I admit, I haven't worked myself up to trying Natto yet. :biggrin:

Just so I don't try too offtopic... hehe :)

...

Has anyone ever put natto in with their onigiri?

Edited by Lynn Shipp (log)
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