Meditation via onigiri

18 May

I have a confession to make.

I’m addicted to making onigiri these days.  There’s something very calming about forming the hot, steamed rice into various shapes with wet hands.  I feel the same serentiy as I did in elementary school art class, mixing plaster of paris with warm water, dipping gauze pieces, and working on art projects.  Plus – the girls ask for them, and eat them without complaint.  My older one has gotten the hang of eating them daintily, while my little one is starting to get the hang of eating them without breaking them apart into smaller “ballies.”  She carefully watches her older sister taking bites across the rice ball in a straight line – and imitates her. 

The only hiccup with onigiri

Sometimes, the rice grains stick to the little one’s hands, and in frustration, she’ll shake her hands trying to get the grains off.  I’ve found myself stepping in little rice grain castaways, flung from her high chair as I rush to get them ready for school, and I inwardly grumble as I pick them off of my socked feet. 

These days, I’m determined to master the art of making a decent onigiri.  I want to making rice-balls with equal width and equal consistency, not mashing up each rice grain, and not having them crumble before I can pack them into my daughter’s lunch-box.  I also want to figure out the ratio of brown rice to other grains, and see how I can carefully start incorporating my usual grain mix successfully.

Today’s lunch includes:

Boiled corn on the cob

Blanched asparagus spears

Sautéed mini-sausages (conventional)

Age Kama or fried fish cake cut out in elephant shapes

Roasted beets in heart shapes

Onigiri with sesame seeds and katsuobushi, shaped like a barrel otherwise known as tawara or a traditional rice-bale – wrapped with a strip of nori


12 Responses to “Meditation via onigiri”


  1. Easter bunnies and bento « Eating Battlezone - May 23, 2011

    […] you recall, last week, I remarked how I find my morning onigiri making to be absolutely meditative and soothing.  Zen-nigiri, let’s call it – a play on […]

  2. Hazy lazy Thursday bento « Eating Battlezone - June 9, 2011

    […] lunch broke away from my onigiri streak – partially because the girls will be having onigiri bento for my older […]

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    […] Onigiri, seasoned with yukari, which is seasoned red shiso powder, seasoned with salt, wrapped with nori […]

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    […] started a frantic inventory of quick, easy, and healthy starches.  Without rice, onigiri was out of the question.  My husband recently fell off the multi-grain bread wagon, and had […]

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    […] Multigrain (white, brown, pearled barley, quinoa, millet) Onigiri with turkey soboro filling […]

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    […] carrot sticks, cucumbers, and a mini frank with diagonal patterns cut into it, then boiled.  An onigiri with okaka seasoning wrapped in nori to seal the […]

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    […] Multi-grain onigiri with okaka filling, wrapped in nori […]

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    […] half-eaten onigiri, I asked whether she preferred a sandwich.  “No, no, I just like little onigiri,” she added, forming a small circle with her fingers to demonstrate the EXACT size of […]

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    […] onigiri with okaka center, with a nori […]

  10. First week of May bentos « Eating Battlezone - May 9, 2012

    […] soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and grated ginger Steamed multi-grain onigiri, but in “tawara” or rice barrel shape, sprinkled with black sesame seeds with no center – with a belt of […]

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    […] onigiri in tawara (rice barrel) shape, sprinkled with black sesame seeds for crunch, no center, wrapped with […]

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    […] onigiri in tawara shape, no filling, sprinkled with black sesame seeds, wrapped in […]

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