If you are interested in Japanese food, it is less likely that you’ve never seen these cute rice balls. Actually, these are not "balls" but they are shaped in triangles. They can be shaped in oval as well. And of course when you make bento – a meal in box, you can shape the steamed rice in any shape that you like in the way you want to "design" your bento. In Japanese, these rice balls are called "onigiri".
These onigiri are very simple to make. In fact, the moulds for making them are now available widely at specialty stores. I have seen these onigiri a lot in Japanese movies and films, howeve, this is the first time I tried making these rice balls. I don’t have the mould, so I had to shape them with hands. It is better and easier to shape the steamed rice when it is still very warm, so making the rice balls with bare hands is a little hard work though it is very interesting to play with the rice.
These onigiri often have fillings, which traditionally can be salty or sour things such as salted plum/apricot, salted salmon or katsuobushi. The hot steamed rice made from short grain rice is seasoned lightly with salt. The rice balls are often wrapped in toasted seaweeds or rolled over toasted seseme seeds.
This time I also made yaki onigiri – which is grilled rice balls. The rice balls were brushed with miso paste and grilled over hot fire. With the miso, the rice balls are very tastety as well.