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Old 10-16-2005, 02:54 PM   #1
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onigiri (rice ball) fillings?

I guess I'm in an ethnic food mood today!

Recently I bought a bento box and have been getting creative with it, putting in little fancy foods and things for my lunch (yeah, maybe I have too much time on my hands!). I don't get as wild and imaginative as some Japanese moms who cut lil' smokies into the shape of tulips and penguins and stencil designs on rice (WOW!)...

But I do love to make onigiris (usually triangle-shaped rice balls). They're a common comfort food, right?

Here's a link: http://www.geocities.com/tpkamsin/fb...i/onigiri.html

Usually I make them plain or put in some furikake seasoning, but I'd love to learn about some tasty filings for them. Any ideas for fillings?

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Old 10-16-2005, 03:58 PM   #2
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I love putting a dab of tang/hot in the middle of 'em. For example chamoy (plum paste) or tamarind pulp with some spice or "botanita" which is a chili and lime sauce.
My english, she's not so good... I meant to say I did it with the malice of forethought.
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Old 10-19-2005, 11:34 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Lugaru
I love putting a dab of tang/hot in the middle of 'em. For example chamoy (plum paste) or tamarind pulp with some spice or "botanita" which is a chili and lime sauce.
Seasoned shredded chicken or pork would be interesting as an appetizer... Maybe seasoned with a hint of soy or sweet & sour sauce... Almost like a paper-wrapped chicken.
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Old 10-19-2005, 11:48 AM   #4
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What kind of lunch box did you buy? Kind of tupperware, or the alminum one with a picture of picachu (or Goku or whatever) on the lid? Do you know they (those krazy Japanese folks) like to put this horridly sour pickled (or something, they are softened) piece of plum in those rice balls? I never understood how that could be edible... anyway my suggestion for the rice ball filling would be some tuna or smoked salmon with a bit of avocado and maionnaise.... or a different version is to put a piece of cheese that melts well in the middle, dab the surface with soy sauce and grill it. I remember they were very tasty this way...

Ah, also if you use the dried seaweed sheet to wrap the rice, I suggest you toast the sheet lightly...(but be careful they burn very easily... keep it a little away from the direct heat, and cook it just until you can smell the fragrance). They are much nicer toasted.
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Old 10-19-2005, 02:21 PM   #5
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bento boxes...

Ooh, thanks UR, I haven't heard of the cheese type...I'm a cheese lover so that might be a new one to try. Tuna-mayo is a pretty common filling, however I have not tried it. The pork filling sounds delish as well--a fun dinner party appetiser idea.

I think those pickled plums are called umeboshi...and while I haven't tried them, I've seen them in jars at my Asian grocer. I'm thinking they're an acquired taste.

Bento is plastic and comes with space in the lid for a little fork and spoon. Very compact and cute...yeah, I'm a sucker for the cute-factor. Got it from ebay. There's a seller with a shop called The Bento Store who sells lots of bento box designs as well as accessories like weiner cutteres and onigiri molds.

It's my latest obsession...
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Old 10-19-2005, 03:40 PM   #6
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Ume is usually the most common filling. Different types of ume have different flavors as well. Some are more tart, some are sweeter, some taste more vinegary, etc. The smaller, more firm umeboshi are less astringent on the pallet and easier to take for those that are unaccustomed to it. The larger and softer umeboshi are much stronger in flavor.

It really depends how creative you want to get. I ran a "bento box" dinner special which included an onigiri stuffed with Ahi Poke (Hawaiian style tuna tartare) which was rolled in sesame seeds and quickly deep fried. Rice is a pretty versatile and forgiving medium so have some fun playing around with various fillings.
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