Onigiri Rice Balls is a popular favorite and is perfect for dinner parties and family gatherings.
- 2 cups Japanese rice.
- Strips of dried nori, preferably toasted
- Black sesame seeds (optional)
- Bonito flakes mixed with picked plums (umekaka)
- Bonito flakes moistened with soy sauce (okaka)
- Flaked cooked salted salmon (shiozake)
- Salted cod roe (tarako)
- Tuna mayonnaise
- Minced chicken stir-fried with soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar.
- Steam the rice and leave it in the steamer with the lid on for a short while in order to make the rice stickier.
- Have a bowl of salted warm water ready to dip your hands in so as to stop the rice from sticking to them.
- Take a small handful of the warm cooked rice in one hand.
- With the other hand make an indentation, and into this stuff some of the chosen fillings.
- Work the rice around the filling and shape into the traditional shapes: spheres, triangles or cylinders. If you apply too much pressure the filling will squish out.
- Too little and the onigiri will fall apart. It takes practice to perfect the art of shaping the onigiri.
- Wrap the shapes in the nori strips and sprinkle with black sesame seeds if using.
- The fillings mentioned are some of the popular options, but there are many more possibilities.