Happy Onigiri Lunch Box

12:12 PM

I woke up an hour earlier than usual today. A huge smile spread across my face as I look at the time and realized how it was unnecessary to get up early because it was the weekend. As all of you third-party onlookers are already in on the secret, you can start laughing. I literally buried myself under my sheets upon realizing it was a Wednesday, wait! wrong again, a Thursday--- doesn’t really make much of a difference, I still need to get up. Yes, I'm such a little ray of sunshine aren't I?

On days like these, and I think you will agree there are many of these, I find solace in preparing something nice to eat. By solace, I mean finding the ability to not strangle the next person that doesn't know being annoying is a health risk.

In a confusing combination of my love for Cabin Pressure and Japanese food, I present you the calming, soothing, yummy Mr. and Mrs. Altimeter!




Onigiri are rice balls (or triangles) made with sushi rice and may or may not be stuffed with some sort of filling. Not as delicate and short lived like sushi but is equally fun and satisfying. Not to mention easy to make and ridiculously cute. Traditionally, the steamed Japanese rice is seasoned with salt and pepper. For this recipe, I like to add the usual vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar I add when I make sushi. It holds better and stays fresh longer.  Also, if you use your hand in molding rice balls, I find it easier to work them into shapes and face; just dip your hands in vinegar before starting your masterpiece to prevent the rice from sticking. You can opt to skip the vinegar if you like to keep it old school.

To make woes of a false weekend alarm go away, here's what you need:

For the rice:
2 cups japanese rice, washed

2 1/2 cups water

2 cups rice vinegar (or cider vinegar)

salt and sugar to taste

For the filling and decoration:
Open the fridge, look for left overs that still look safe to eat, put in a pretty bowl and set aside

or

Canned tuna in brine, drained (because one can never have enough tuna)

1-2 tbsp mayonnaise

wasabi powder/paste

S&P to taste

sushi nori, cut into different shapes and sizes to fit your onigiri

yes, they stick to your hands

How to make it:
cook the rice or ask a friend from a rice-eating country to do it for you.

While allowing the rice to cool, wash your hands. Wash it again. Done? Do it one more time.

season rice with vinegar, salt and sugar. Adjust the amount of vinegar you put depending on the consistency of your rice (this way, if you manage to screw up cooking rice, it wouldn't look so bad. Just as long as it's not too slushy). You can skip this step and just season with salt, pepper and toasted sesame seeds if you like.


Mix canned tuna, mayo, wasabi, and season with salt and pepper. The key in making this filling work is ensuring that the and consistency is moist and sticky but not runny. Add more wasabi to your spice tolerance, more if you're planning on giving it to a friend who hates spicy food.

To mold it:
Dip your hands in vinegar to prevent rice from sticking

scoop a spoonful of rice on your and slightly flatten

take a small amount of your filling and put it on top of the rice

scoop another spoonful of rice to cover filling

MOLD, MOLD, MOLD or get a mold if all else fails

when you managed to make a ball or triangle or any shape that's not falling apart, start decorating using the nori sheets.

Get creative! The beauty in making these babies is that they're balls of love (wait, what?). They get nicer the more love (and practice you put in it). 

Mr. Altimeter makes a great poker face to avoid trouble.


 The Altimeters are a fail-safe option in wishing someone "good luck" in an exam or expressing how sorry you are for something you screwed up. Okay! Now that part's over, I can eat and look forward to Friday. Lalala.



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