A few days before moving to HotelLand I decided to try making onigiri, or rice balls. I'd bought some onigiri wrappers at Daiso Union City and was anxious to see what they were all about. Also, I thought it would be a good food to have on hand in my hotel.
Between the instructions on the package and the tutorials from Lunch in a Box, I ended up with some pretty decent little rice balls.
See the instruction figures on the bottom left corner? There were more detailed figures on the back, but they still weren't that helpful. I couldn't shake the feeling that I was doing something wrong because the wrapped onigiri just didn't look as nice and neat as I expected them to. (Click the image to be taken to the full size on flickr.)
Spread the cooked rice on a flat, foil-lined surface to cool. Toss with some rice vinegar while it's cooling. Short grain rices work best, but you don't have to use specifically sushi rice. Anything with a little stickiness to it will be fine.
There's a triangle diagram on the wrapper to let you know where to place the mold. The wrapper opens in back and I think you spread the opening and place the onigiri on the inside.
As you're working with the rice, keep a dish of warm water nearby. Rinse your fingertips to keep the rice from sticking to them.
Remove the mold and figure out the best way to wrap and seal the plastic.
One of my hotel feasts. I found that the onigiri had to be removed from the wrapper and microwaved for the best taste and texture. So I'm not sure how well a wrapped onigiri would work in a bento if you're not microwaving the rest of the lunch. But they are awesome to have for adding to steamed veggies or leftover-based meals.