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MIM: Onigiri (Japanese Rice Ball)



These are actually spectacularly easy! This method involves shaping with your hands, but you can also use moulds.

First things first, you need to decide what flavour you want to make. I made tuna mayo flavour with a little soy sauce added.

Once you’ve decided that, you’ll also need:
Rice – there seems to be differing opinions on the type of rice, I used sushi rice.
Nori – seaweed sheets
Bowl of salted water


To start, you need to wet your hands with the water and scoop some rice into your palm, you only want half the size of the ball to start with, and you need to pack it tightly – tighter than I did. Then you need to form a dip in the middle to take the filling and add the filling before covering it with more rice.

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Pack it all tightly together then it’s time to form them into your chosen shape. you can make them actual balls, but generally they’re a triangular shape. To make this, you need to form a cup with your hand, making an upside down U shape. Then you squeeze the rice, rotate it a third and do it again, then another third and do it again. With your other hand you also form a U shape – not upside down this time – and with it you cup the bottom of the rice ball and use your fingers to press in the back of the ball. You will need to turn it around to do the front as well.


Next you need to cut a strip of nori to wrap around the bottom. Often however they don’t actually get wrapped around until it’s time to eat them because they can be made soggy by the rice.



I actually enjoyed these more than I thought I would. One box of rice made about 9 or 10 largeish rice balls. I think next time I’ll cook the rice in a stock cube and maybe add something to it too to give it more flavour. I’ll also cook the rice for longer – this time I was a little impatient to get to bed so I cooked it for the minimum time. I’ll also pack the rice tighter too and form the rice balls when the rice is warm as this should make a better rice ball. I actually enjoyed the tuna mayo filling in the rice so I may just do that again next time too.



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