Onigiri Rice Balls

For those that don’t know, Onigiri (onigilly) is the Japanese term for rice balls of various shapes and sizes. They are often eaten as a snack, but also can be a side or an appetizer along with a main course.

 

This is the typical format for onigiri, a pyramid like rice ball with a sheet of toasted nori seaweed as both a flavoring agent and a handle to keep hands from getting starchy. They are a common everyday snack in Japan, and a great way to use up the last bits of rice in your rice pot. Typically Japanese or short short grain rice is preferred as it has a stickier nature and will hold together well. Season your rice with rice vinegar and mirin for a sushi rice flavor, or add any variety of sausage, spam, carrots, or mushrooms to bring the humble snack to life. Another popular way to finish these off are to lightly grill them, for a slightly charred and crispy crust.

 

Grilled, or Yaki-Onigiri

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