Recipe #1. Rice Balls (Onigiri)
2 cups sushi rice
4 cups water
2 teaspoons miso
3-4 sheets nori seaweed
Making Onigiri requires sushi rice, nori, and miso paste!
Susie: Following the directions for cooking the rice, in a pan rather than a rice cooker, I then rinsed and placed the rice in the fridge over night to cool. In the morning I started to create the rice balls using the 1/4 cup amount for each layer that Scott suggests in his book:
“Using your hands, form a 1/4 cup rice into a triangle. Spread 1/4 teaspoon miso evenly on one side of the triangle. Cover with another 1/4 cup rice. Shape into one triangle, making sure the miso is covered with rice. Using half of one sheet of nori, wrap the rice triangle in nori, making sure to completely cover the rice.”
I soon realised that the 1/4 cup amount was going to be too big for my liking, and so cut the recipe in half – creating smaller rice packages instead, with the miso paste still sandwiched between two layers. The resulting little packets looked like small sea cucumbers but fitted neatly inside the bag I had ready. Setting out for a hill-workout (up & down the infamous Kokohead) I stashed the rice balls/ onigiri in my hydration pack, but not without testing one first! And the initial reaction: Yummy! Satisfying and tasty. Let’s go. The workout was so intense in the afternoon sun I didn’t have time to stop and eat – only drink some nuun – but finally when I made it back to the car I was ready to refuel. Sitting down in the shade I opened up my pack to dig out the onigiri, only to find I was probably going to need a spoon to consume anything since they had ‘melted’ in the heat. I managed to scoop one out – it still tasted great AND my stomach could handle it – always a bonus. Conclusion: Overall the onigiri were excellent trail food, the rice & seaweed make a great carbs and salt combo, but my rice was too wet & sticky, resulting in a slightly gooey ‘ball’! Maybe next time I’ll use a bamboo rice cooker, and ensure the rice is cooked to a different consistency. I would recommend these for people who like savoury food over sweets, plus the ‘bite’ was ok – not too chewy so on a long run you would be able to eat them comfortably. Plus I didn’t need too much fluid to wash the onigiri down!
Final rating: 8/10.