Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Food Desert Project - Yaki Onigiri with "Kalbi"

You know, if you just let an idea knock around in your head a bit, often a good idea will shake loose. Somebody kindly reminded me that I've been looking for a Sparky-friendly filling for Onigiri - Japanese rice balls(or, as Sparky incorrectly calls it "Triangle Sushi.") Onigiri differs from sushi in that the rice is not flavored with seasoned vinegar, only salt and a filling - one of the more famous versions is Hawaiian Spam Musubi.

Now, traditionally, Onigiri is wrapped in Nori, which is laver seaweed that has been pressed and dried into sheets; I'm certain all but the most sophisticated food deserts don't carry. However, the grilled version, Yaki Onigiri, typically is just brushed with soy sauce and doesn't have the typical Nori handle or wrap. While their nori-wrapped cousins may be filled with any salty substance: tuna or salmon salad is common, or Japanese pickled plums, the grilled ones are often unfilled, but as filling is not unheard of, I bring you...

Food Desert Yaki Onigiri with Kalbi



Leftover Chinese takeout rice, or cooked short-grain rice (brown rice, if available, works fine)
1 Bag dehydrated beef nuggets, preferably teriyaki flavor (avoid liquid smoke flavoring if possible)
sesame seeds
1 plastic baggie
1 teacup
1 spoon
nonstick skillet

Coarsley chop the beef nuggets into large dice. Place in saucepan and add twice their depth in water; bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, simmer for 1/2 hour or until nuggets are tender. Drain, and allow to dry a bit.


Heat up rice in a microwave or steamer (rice must be piping hot for this to work-one bento blog talks lovingly about how Japanese mothers hands are red and chapped from forming onigiri with rice straight from the cooker) Form your plastic baggie into a cone and put the point of the cone into a teacup or coffee mug; fill the point with rice.

2581741641_bd05dd9675_m.jpg 2582571342_5a2e952d6e.jpg

Make a hole in the center of your rice with a spoon, drop in a beef nugget or two. Cover with rice.


Twist the top of the bag, using it to help you form the rice into a tightly packed triangle with flat sides and curved angles  (the unwrapped one in the second photo fell apart after cooking; if you have "holes" re-pack it in the plastic bag and press harder)

2581758151_1607fbb0ab_m.jpg 2581761157_014be0f982_m.jpg

Coat your rice ball with sesame seeds and season with salt.

Preheat a bit of oil in your nonstick skillet, and fry your rice ball, carefully turning after about 2 minutes (or when the rice and sesame smell fragrant) Using a basting brush, lightly coat the top with soy sauce.


Turn again, and coat the second side with soy sauce. Serve hot.

No comments:

Post a Comment