[Recipe] Mini Onigiri (Japanese rice balls) recipe

I really like onigiri. Each time I’ve been to Japan, I’ve eaten at least one per day. They are a cheap snack you can get in all convenience stores and keep in your bag for when you need a quick energy boost. Traditionally, they are palm-sized triangles of rice with fish or other things in the middle, with a rectangular piece of seaweed wrapped around it. This recipe is for a smaller bite-sized version using Japanese style pickled vegetables.

First step is to decide what you want to put in your onigiri (rice balls). Today I have rice mixed with pickled vegetables, but you can also have rice with salmon in the middle or algae or anything else you want.

Key ingredients

You can buy these in squares that are often perforated. You can rip them into strips.
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I bought pre-cut Japanese pickled vegetables at the Japanese supermarket.
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1. Cook the rice. Use the ratio of 1 to 1.5 for rice to water (e.g. 1 cup of rice and 1.5 cups of water).
2. Let the rice cool down and then put in the fridge for further chilling.
3. If you are mixing the rice with chopped up pickled vegetables like I did, mix in at a proportion that you like.
4. Get a small bowl of water and put it on the side. Wet your hands! This is so the rice doesn’t stick to your hand instead of sticking to each other.
5. Use the spoon to scoop some rice mixture into your wet hands.
6. Press and mold the rice into the shape you want. Rotate it around and make sure you press firmly enough for it to keep its shape.
7. If you are adding something to the center, first put half the amount of rice in your hand, then add the filling and the next half of rice on time and press together.
8. Rewet your hands between each onigiri!
9. If you are eating right away, wrap in seaweed. If you are eating it later, save the seaweed in a separate plastic zip bag or container and wrap the rice ball when you are ready to eat.
10. Enjoy!

Ready to eat onigiri!