Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Anime Club: Onigiri

Onigiri (or rice balls) is a popular Japanese dish. It's also pretty easy to make! So I decided to try it as an activity at my last anime club meeting.

I found this website, which details a great method for making onigiri using saran wrap.

What You Need:
  • Sushi rice (You must use sushi rice specifically. You can find it at your local Asian market or Amazon. See the website above for more info on the differences in rice.)
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Saran wrap
  • Small bowls, cups, or round containers (I found these, which ended up being the perfect size.)
  • Fillings such as tuna, chicken, pickles, etc. Really anything salty is good.
  • Nori

I made a big batch of rice in my rice cooker the day of the program. If you have an anime club and do several food programs with them, a rice cooker is a great investment!

(Please forgive the poor quality photos. I was taking them while the teens were watching anime with the lights down.)

1. First, put some Saran wrap in the bowl. Sprinkle some water, then salt in the bottom making sure to cover the sides too.

2. Then scoop some rice in the bottom. I measured out about 1/2 cup for each teen, which made a pretty good sized rice ball.

3. If you want to add a filling, poke a hole in the middle with your finger. If not, skip to Step 6.

4. Scoop a small amount of filling into the hole. For fillings, I provided canned tuna, teriyaki chicken, dill pickles, soy sauce, and bonito flakes for those that wanted a more traditional filling. The teriyaki chicken was by far the most popular choice with my teens.

5. Cover the hole with a small amount of rice.

6. Gather the ends of the Saran wrap and twist in order to get all of the air out.

7. Shape the rice using your hands into balls, or triangles, or whatever shape you like! Add a strip of nori seaweed to the bottom to make it easier to hold/eat.

I had some toasted sesame seeds left over from another program, so I set those out for the teens to add as a topping (right).

One of my teens was really good at making triangles. Me? Not so much...

That's it! These were so easy to make and the teens loved it. I highly recommend this for any anime club.

Have you made onigiri at your library? What other food programs worked for you?

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