Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Onigiri: More Fun with the Rice Cooker.

It's the birthday of my favorite sibling, so I'm posting early. I will also be brief. That's why the food is so pretty.

We are in that blissful post wedding state where I have more kitchen appliances than I can use. Still, I adore this rice cooker. It's like a magic food production machine- I put in rice and water, walk away, and find perfectly cooked proof that I am the best wife ever. C is a big fan of rice.

Onigiri is less about the flavor of the filling and more about the flavor of the rice. As such, one needs about a tablespoon of filling for half a dozen rice balls- my suggestions are mashed avocado, chopped green onion, or about a tablespoon of any savory leftover in the fridge. I used nikujaga sauce. (Tomorrow's recipe: nikujaga!)

Cook 3/4 cup short grain white rice according to whatever method you chose. (Rice cooker rice cooker) (I've tried other sorts of rice; short grain brown, long grain brown, sticky rice. They simply do not work. Sushi rice is the way to go here- when I get more adept, I may switch to 50%/50% with short grain brown. Or I may not. All the Japanese expats get a little fraught when people ask them about rice substitutions. Mix in about a teaspoon of seasoned rice vinegar. Or, you know, a good sprinkle of salt, a good sprinkle of sugar, and unseasoned rice vinegar. Taste it to make sure you approve of the flavor.

Get a smallish square of saran wrap and a small bowl or old fashioned tea cup. Line the teacup/bowl with saran wrap. Fill teacup/bowl with about 1/2 cup rice. Stick a very clean finger into the rice and fill the hole halfway with filling. Grab edges of saran wrap and twist/wrap the rice firmly into a ball. Leave the saran wrap on for at least five minutes- though if you're packing a lunch, the saran wrap can stay on indefinitely.

Repeat with remaining rice- this should make about 6 onigiri.

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