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Onigiri Recipe
and Bento Box Lunch

An onigiri recipe is pretty simple to make and is a popular item that is found in a bento box lunch.  A bento box lunch is a lunch that can actually be considered a work of art.  And onigiri is often the foundation or staple of this traditional Japanese box lunch.

However, it is very important to learn how to cook rice to make a great tasting onigiri.  Learning how to cook rice will ensure the right texture for your onigiri recipe and even possibly cut down on some carbohydrates or starch.

How to Cook Rice for Onigiri Recipes

Stove Top Method

I love the simplicity and energy saved with this stove top method of cooking sushi rice.  The best rice to use for a traditional onigiri is sushi rice or Japanese short grain white rice.

The Rice Cooker Method

  1. Measure 2 to 3 cups of sushi rice into a bowl.
  2. Add clean water to the rice and swish the rice around with your hand - then drain cloudy water.
  3. Repeat step 2 until water runs clear (about 4 to 6 times).
  4. Then add an equal amount of water that matches your rice measurement.
  5. Then add this rinsed rice with water to the rice cooker.
  6. Switch on rice cooker and walk away.
  7. When rice is done cooking, let it sit for another 15 minutes.

Onigiri Tips

  • Be sure to use fresh and warm sushi rice.
  • Wet your clean hands and sprinkle them with sea salt to help keep the rice from sticking to your hands.
  • You can use a mold to make onigiri or just do it the old fashioned way with your hands.
  • Work with about a 1/2 cup of sushi rice and form into the desired shape.
  • Wrap with seaweed, sprinkle sesame seeds, or make a creative design.

Bento Box Lunch

A traditional bento box lunch consists of onigiri, fish or meat, and vegetables (pickled or cooked).

Bentos are probably some of the most creative and fun ways to eat your lunch.    And they are very popular in Hawaii.

Some people even go to the extreme of making food look like a certain character, animal, or elaborate design.

Onigiri is basically a Japanese rice ball that is usually stuffed with a tasty morsel in the center.

You can stuff your onigiri with whatever you so desire, but just remember that salty fillings are less perishable.

My mother use to make us onigiri when we were young and she would make really round rice balls. Apparently, that shape is associated with funerals, so you may be taking your chances.  Although we all made it till Now - lol.

Ideas for a Bento Box Lunch

A Japanese box lunch or bento box lunch is a great way to make lunch for your children or even for yourself.

This type of lunch appeals to your eyes as well as your taste buds and is a great way to entice someone to eat all of their food.

  • Onigiri or Loose Rice
  • Cooked Fish, Teriyaki Chicken, or Teriyaki Beef
  • Fresh salads or pickled vegetables
  • Sashimi
  • Decorative eggs
  • Organic hot dogs

Go to Teriyaki Sauce Recipe
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