GalleryHow to Make Onigiri
In these post-holiday days of getting back to basics and back to work, I'm looking to keep things simple without falling into the humdrum. To me, that means foods that are uncomplicated but also a little fun. Like onigiri.
If fine sushi-making is a culinary art form, you could think of onigiri as culinary arts 'n' crafts. More humble and practical than sushi, and with a lot of potential for cuteness, onigiri is, not surprisingly, a mainstay of the Japanese bento box and a popular quick meal.
These little flavored rice balls are made with sushi rice, but the rice is not fanned and seasoned with rice vinegar and sugar as it is in sushi-making. Instead, the rice is simply salted lightly. Sushi tends to showcase the most delicate—and often expensive—cuts of seafood and tender vegetables. Onigiri, on the other hand, makes use of leftovers and other ingredients you might have around, often hiding them inside the rice.
Here's where the cuteness factor comes in: onigiri is sometimes decorated with little faces or dressed up as bunny rabbits. If you didn't get to decorate enough cookies this holiday season, here's your second chance.