Oni-Giri (Japanese Rice Ball)

Ingredients

1 rice 1 nori (seaweed) 1 seasoned rice vinegar 1 smoked salmon 1 wasabi paste 1 salt 1 sugar

Instructions

This Recipe is for the picnic rice balls that someone mentioned. They are easier than sushi, don't require a mat, etc. Don't shy away from making these. You don't need to use raw fish. Indeed, these particular rice balls, called Oni-giri do not usually contain raw fish. These can be made with smoked salmon or not as you wish. To season the vinegar, add some salt and or sugar to taste. I don't like the sugar myself and leave it out. I also water down the vinegar a little bit. If you don't like vinegar, you can just use salt water or even just plain water. The Nori may be purchased in toasted sheets ready to use. It is widely available. I've found it in local grocery stores here in North Carolina. Cut the sheets into 4 - 5 cm wide strips. The rice should be a sticky variety, like Kokuho Rose, but I have made these successfully with standard American medium grain white rice. Prepare as for steamed rice, allow it to sit in the pan, covered, after cooking for about 1 hour before lifting the cover. Dump the rice into a bamboo vegetable steamer or a wooden salad bowl, something that will absorb some of the moisture. Fan the rice while GENTLY tossing it a few times. This cools it so it can be handled and removes the excess moisture. Have the salmon ready in 4 cm strips with as much wasabi dabbed on it as you'd like. Once the rice is cool enough to handle you can begin. Wet your hands with the vinegar. Grab some rice in the palm of one hand. Push a strip of salmon into it. Form the rice ball by clasping your hands together GENTLY. The idea is to form a nice triangular ball with flat faces. It's fun. You also don't want to handle them too much. You don't want to squash the rice grains just stick them together. Once you've shaped the ball. Wet one side of the Nori strip with the vinegar and wrap it around the flat faces of the rice ball.

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