Onigiri Rice Balls: #6 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments


Part of a complete Japanese bento box is a beautiful onigiri, or rice ball. It can be filled with salmon or vegetables, dipped in sesame seeds, or just wrapped in seaweed. Kind of like a sandwich to bring to school or work, but with rice instead of bread.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($1.50 total)

2 cups short-grain Calrose rice – $0.71
2 cups water – free
Salt for rubbing on hands – $0.25
1/2 pack roasted seaweed snack sheets – $0.50

Directions

1. Rinse the rice in a large bowl several times with cold water until the water is almost clear. Then drain the rice in a colander and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Put the drained rice and the water in a pot and let it soak for 30-60 minutes before cooking it.

2. Bring the rice and water to a boil over medium-high heat in a covered pot, then reduce or turn off the heat and let the cooking finish. Once the heat is off, leave the lid on for another 15 minutes, then fluff up the rice with a fork and let it cool.

Wet and rub some salt on your hands, then pick up about 1/2 cup of the rice and pack it into a ball, triangle, or any shape you like. Take a piece of seaweed and wrap it around the rice ball, pressing it to help it stick. This recipe makes 8 balls. Enjoy!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 14/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

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