Compact and ready to be taken on the go, onigiri—which are sold in convenience stores all over Japan—are great packed into lunches or enjoyed as an easy anytime snack. The balls are stuffed with flavorful and often salty fillings that pair well with the sticky rice: Go classic with Kewpie mayonnaise and tuna or umeboshi (mouth-puckering pickled plums), or try pickled vegetables like kimchi—even yesterday’s chicken salad works. The fun part is forming the balls, and you don’t need to be a sushi chef to do it. The secret is to use slightly warm rice for easy molding and to keep a bowl of water nearby to dip your hands in to prevent sticking. As for soy sauce, you won’t need it. These little flavor bombs are tasty all on their own. This recipe makes 3–4 balls of each type (tuna, umeboshi, and kimchi). If you only want one flavor, simply increase your filling of choice.
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