NATIONAL RICE BALL DAY!!!

Never had a Rice Ball; I think this is something I need to try!

Rice Ball

  1. The rice balls preserve very well, and can even be used to preserve meats or other foods within its airtight seal.
  2. The rice ball is traditionally Japanese.
  3. Typically the rice is soaked in vinegar and made to stick together.  Dipping it in soy sauce will cause it to fall apart again.
  4. Rice balls date back at least as far as the 11th century.
  5. Another word for the rice ball is “Onigiri”, a word commonly misused to refer to sushi.
  6. Popular onigiri fillings include tuna salad, salmon flakes, seafood salad, konbu (a type of sea vegatable), umeboshi (a sour bright-red pickled Japanese plum), tempura, and even natto (eat this one at your own risk!).
  7. “Onigri” literally means “to hold on to”.
  8. It was believed that onigiri could not be mass-produced as the hand-rolling technique was considered too difficult for a machine to replicate. In the 1980s, however, a machine that made triangular onigiri was devised.

Onigiri – Japanese Rice Balls
8 servings

  • 4 cups uncooked short-grain white rice
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup bonito shavings (dry fish flakes
  • 2 sheets nori (dry seaweed), cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  1. Wash the rice in a mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Combine washed rice and 4 1/2 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; cover. Simmer rice until the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Let rice rest, for 15 minutes to allow the rice to continue to steam and become tender. Allow cooked rice to cool.
  2. Combine 1 cup water with the salt in a small bowl. Use this water to dampen hands before handling the rice. Divide the cooked rice into 8 equal portions. Use one portion of rice for each onigiri.
  3. Divide one portion of rice in two. Create a dimple in the rice and fill with a heaping teaspoon of bonito flakes. Cover with the remaining portion of rice and press lightly to enclose filling inside rice ball. Gently press the rice to shape into a triangle. Wrap shaped onigiri with a strip of nori. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Repeat to make a total of 8 onigiri.

Published by Culinary Chick

My name is Anna Hattauer and I love to cook. I am a personal chef living in Maryland. I grew up in California, joined the United States Army right after high school, got married, raised three children while going to college and working full time. As a young military wife and mother, we didn't have the money to go out to eat on a regular basis and had to make each pay check stretch. I learned how to prepare meals that were delicious, while staying within budget. While working full-time in the corporate world with the usual 2-3 hour I-270 commute, coupled with school & sports events, scouts and taking care of three children, it was tough to find the time or the energy to come home and prepare healthy meals for my family. Being a military family, we have traveled to many places around the world. I love trying new foods, the challenge of cooking new recipes and having friends over for dinner as well as cooking for special events. After cooking for my friends and family for over 25 years, I decided that I wanted to share my love of food and make people happy, so I dropped the corporate chaos and attended a formal culinary school and became a certified personal chef. I am a member of the United States Personal Chef Association and I am licensed, insured and ServSafe certified.

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