Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rice Ball (Omusubi or Onigir)

It is a rainy day. Since we can't work out in the garden Bear and I decided to make rice balls (also called Omusubi). First you will need to find the right type of rice. Jasmine, and long grain rice wont hold together properly. Sticky rice works, but for this demo we used Japanese rice, it is also sold as sushi rice and seems to work best. Like I mentioned in the last blog make sure you check that your rice is not enriched with wheat if you are gluten intolerant. These Rice balls are filled with a ginger chicken filling. If you want to skip the rice ball directions, the chicken recipe is at the end of this blog. If you want to see a YouTube demo of this process click "Here".Wait for the rice to cool slightly before you start on the rice balls. You still want it quite hot, just not so hot that it burns your skin off. Lay a piece of saran wrap over your rice bowl. Add a tiny sprinkling of water and salt. Then add in your rice till it is loosely filled to the top of the bowl. Press the rice to the sides of the bowl till you have a nice indentation. Don't indent all the way to the bottom of the bowl. Then fill the rice indentation with your filling. Don't over fill it. Just use enough to fill the indentation. Next, pull the edges of the saran wrap up to form a bag around the rice. Mold it into whatever shape you like. I prefer a triangle shape. Dip a piece of Nori (seaweed wrap) into water to soften it and wrap in around the bottom of the rice ball and up the sides. I like the flavor it adds, but it also helps to keep your fingers clean while eating the rice ball. Once they are done you can wrap them up in saran wrap and store them in the refrigerator for a few days. They are a wonderful substitute to sandwiches. They keep well and are a nice treat for a pick-nick or to tuck into your loved ones lunches.
Ginger Chicken Recipe
The filling can be made from just about anything that goes well with rice provided that it is not wet and drippy. We chose to use ginger chicken. To make the chicken you will need:
4 tables spoons of freshly grated ginger root
a pinch of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of black pepper
3 to 4 cups of shredded cabbage
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1 shredded boneless skinless chicken breast
3 tablespoons of soy sauce (double check the label to make sure it is gluten free)
1/2 cup of water
Stir everything in a pan on the stove over medium heat till the cabbage softens and everything is well heated. Left over ginger chicken is perfect for egg-rolls. Let is cool slightly so it wont burn your fingers before you put it into the rice balls or egg rolls. Enjoy!

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