Ume Onigiri 梅おにぎり



As I was making onigiri for my husband this morning, I realize my throat was in sore. I was making Umeboshi onigiri and just de-seeded the ume, so I just pop that seed in my mouth and rolled it in my mouth until all the pulp are gone then throw it away. During this hay fever season, I use the leftover seed of the umeboshi as a throat lozenge. Umeboshi does wonders to our body and this is why I make my own Umeboshi so it free from preservatives which I can use it for medicinal purposes.

In Japan, starting from mid Feb to end of Apr, lots of people suffers from hay fever. There are hay fever forecast during this season which tells us how much pollens are emitted that day so to warn us. The mandatory mask wearing rules had ended in Japan but people are still wearing mask to protect them from these pollen and this is why Japanese doesn’t feel uncomfortable with mask on. We wear them every year during springtime to protect us from hay fever.

Since I took the picture of the seed of Umeboshi, I decide to take more picture to show how I actually make onigiri.

The rice are usually cooked every morning and it is piping hot. I wet a little bowl with water and scoop the rice in this bowl. ( I wet the bowl so the rice doesn’t stick to the bowl, so it slips out easily out when you are ready to mold them in your hand.)

I will make a little hole in the center of the rice in the rice bowl and put in the ingredient I want. Then I wet my hand with a cold water and sprinkle salt all over my palm and rub the palm together so to melt the salt a bit.

Then I reach out for the bowl with the rice in it and flip the rice on my palm. Slowly and softly I start molding the rice in circle first and gradually mold them in a triangle. ( You can mold in any shape.) Press the rice together and when confirm that the rice will not fall apart, place it on a plate. I just then wrap the rice ball with seaweed and place it in the container for lunch togo.

I prepared a woven basket lined with parchment paper for lunch box. I don’t usually use plastic wrap (thou you can) when the rice it hot, I put the hot rice ball in these breathable container so the rice can release extra moist and when it’s time to eat, the texture will be just right.


I keep my de-seeded Umeboshi in jars. Other than using it as a lozenge, I add them to soups as a seasonings. ( I will blog about it someday. )

When the onigiri are made with cold (room temp) rice, I will wrap the onigiri with plastic wrap because the rice will harden with time.

Onigiri are best eaten when just prepared (warm) or room temp. They are never kept in a fridge because the rice will be too hard.

If you couldn’t eat your onigiri and don’t want to waste it, you can store them in the fridge and use them as Ochazuke by pouring hot broth over the cold onigiri to be eaten as a warm rice soup.


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