Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fun with onigiri: Japanese rice balls

Among the things I picked up at Ichiban Kan in Japantown were molds for making onigiri. I thought I'd do a sweet version first, cooking sushi rice with coconut milk and stuffing the rice balls with mango. A version of my favorite Thai dessert.
Nothing could be easier: put a little rice in the bottom, mango in the middle, more rice on top.
Cover and press,
and this is what you get!
If you want, you can get fancy with your decorating. Or in my case, lame with your decorating.

The rice I made turned out not so good. I think I skimped too much on the liquid. But the mango was super-ripe and juicy, so I made several onigiri that were mostly mango with just a little rice top and bottom.

I thought they were very tasty. Sophie thinks they'd be better with meat. I'll try that next. Maybe with spam!


  1. omg TOO CUTE for words. I have to get over there and get some of those molds. I love mango, but... I cannot imagine sweet onigiri. Hrm.

  2. so much fancier than the snowballs of onigiri I make

  3. that looks soooooooo fun.
    and yummy too.
    do you have any specific japanese cookbooks you like?

  4. Susan, maybe "onigiri" means only savory rice balls? I suspected as I wrote this that there may be a different word for sweet rice balls. I know sometimes thy can be stuffed with sweet bean paste, too.

    db, the mold cost $1, so you could look for some on your next Asian-grocery shopping trip. Alternatively, if you have cookie cutters, you could try Biggie's method.

    Risa, it's funny, I don't have any Japanese cookbooks! Just some more general Asian ones, for sauces, noodles and vegetables and the like. I've never had a yen (haha) to make sushi, and I can't say I've seen that many books for other kinds of Japanese food.

  5. I tried some new things at a Chinese Buffet today thanks to your blog :O) Thought I'd have an open mind and at least try them! I liked everything I tried too :O)

  6. I really like the sound of the mango coconut onigiri!!

  7. Is that a new profile photo, Julie? It's cute! Glad you're trying new stuff! You never know what may be your new favorite thing.

    Kevin, it's quite yummy.

    Oh, I should add that I put a little sugar in the rice, too. But I think it's better to make the rice the regular way, and then mix in coconut milk or coconut cream that has a little sugar in it.

  8. Those are my favorites, I love them with coconut milk topping that has been mixed with sugar. Great idea to make them that way. I should have make my Indonesian rice rolls with this sort of gadget too..