Rice balls are a type of food item made from rice that has been condensed or combined to form a ball or other compact shape. Rice balls can be enjoyed by many cultures. You can also choose from sweeter or chewier rice balls.
They are either from Europe or Asia and date back to the 800th Century. It was first used in Japan during the Heian period (794-1185). To make it easier to move, they were called tonjiki and were wrapped in dried bamboo sheaths.
What is a rice ball made from?
Rice balls are made from compacted rice. This rice is generally a bit softer than the rest. The rice balls are then spread onto nori or seaweed and filled with your choice of fillings for onigiri. It is made from glutinous rice in China. The fillings are different and the wrap is made with bamboo leaves. The rice balls in the Sicilian dish arancini are coated with breadcrumbs and deep-fried.
How to make rice balls
There are many types and recipes for rice balls, but let’s begin with the easiest and most basic form, the onigiri. These are the steps to making your own rice balls.
- Make sure to prepare your ingredients: furikake, rice or Japanese seasoning, nori, flat seaweed, and furikake.
- Mix the rice in a bowl. Add furikake to the bowl and mix well. Divide into equal parts, each about a handful.
- Use water to wet your hands and then rub your hands together with a pinch of salt.
- Take a portion of rice and place it in your hands.
- Press and squeeze the rice balls to form a triangular shape or use a rice ball maker to form a triangular shape.
- Place the nori at the bottom of the onigiri, and then fold it towards the middle.
You can make your fillings with any protein you like, such as chicken, tuna, or pickled plum. Your imagination is limitless.
How can you prevent the rice from sticking to your hands when making rice balls?
You can prevent the rice from sticking to your hands: you can wet your hands with water and rub some salt into them. The water will act as a lubricant on the sticky rice and will not stick. You should not use too much water, or the rice balls will become dry.
Why do rice balls break apart?
You might need to change the rice type if your rice balls seem to be falling apart. Rice balls can be made from either medium-grain or short-grain rice. It will not stick well if you use jasmine rice or any other long-grain rice. You could also use cold rice or not cook your rice enough.
How can you make rice balls stick together?
Make sure to use the right type of rice. Medium-grain and short-grain rice are both more sticky. To make them stick better, heat them up while they’re still warm. Technically, long grain rice can still be cooked longer and with more liquid.
Can rice balls be served cold or hot?
Rice balls can be served hot or cold. You can find lots of chilled rice balls in convenience stores’ refrigerators for onigiri. This is a convenient way to eat rice balls and onigiri while on the go.
You can also have grilled onigiri. This is hot and has a crispy exterior that is then brushed in miso or soy sauce. This is a more flavorful option that has a unique texture and requires a sit-down meal.