Sunday, April 20, 2014

Leftover onigiri: What to do with leftovers? (Improvisation)

Growing up in a very economical family, I have more than often brought leftovers for lunch. However, over the years, I grew tired of eating rice and leftovers the same way: in a container with leftovers in the bottom and rice on the top (if you hate having your rice soggy, that's the best way to place your leftover lunch). And being a fan of convenience, I found a new way of eating leftovers the next day without intensively microwaving and without using utensils. Plus, it is a much cuter way to eat your lunch!

Alright, less talk.

Preparation time: 5-10 minutes (if rice is ready!)
Ready time: 5 minutes

Rice (preferably calrose or sticky rice)

Nori sheets
Soy sauce
Sesame seeds

1. Prepare the rice, it is preferable to use calrose rice or sushi rice due to its sticky texture. However, if you have glutinous rice, it works out as well. As for jasmine rice, it could work, but it would not give a very satisfying result at the end.
2. Prepare the filling. Depending on the type of leftover you have, make sure that it turns into tiny chunks. I had salmon leftover, so I used a spoon to tear the salmon into tiny pieces. If you have something that contains a lot of liquid, squeeze out the juice to use it later. 
3. If you have some juice from your left over, pour a small amount (1 tsp for 1/2 cup cooked rice) in the hot rice and mix well. Make sure that the rice is hot so that it could absorb the sauce in. Otherwise, if you do not have sauce from the leftover, you can add soy sauce. I like the taste of seaweed and sesame, so I added some nori chunks with sesame seeds. With the rice paddle, mix well.
4. Now mould the onigiri by placing some rice in your hand. Place approximately one tbps of leftover in the middle and bring all the rice around the filling. There are two ways to wrap your onigiri. The traditional way is to wet your hands with salted water and mould the rice balls. The other way, without wetting your hands, you can use a plastic wrap to work it out. 
5. Shape well by pressing the rice, not too much to keep the leftover in the middle and uncrushed. To make it in triangular prism, place the rice ball in between adjacent hand position. 
6. After shaping the onigiri, take a nori sheet to partially wrap. It is now ready to serve.

I usually wrap them in plastic wraps to bring to job or class. The convenience of onigiri is that you do not need to heat it before eating, as long as you leave it at room temperature for at least an hour. 

Good luck and enjoy! 

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