First things first: I’m not Japanese, nor do I want to be. I’m a fan of their Pokemon, insane pornography and futile attempts at rap music, but I’m not so sure about their rice balls. Last summer, my mom bestowed upon me her knowledge of onigiri artisanry (which she got from Oms/b in Midtown).
Her procedure, in short, was to scoop, shape, season and wrap. She had a colorful collection of soy-based wrappings along with the usual seaweed which lent then a seriously twee attitude. Another cool addition were the sesame seed-based seasonings. They added an interesting slant (HURR) to an otherwise rice-tasting ball of rice.
When my mom made them, she filled them with umeboshi, a type of sour pickled plum. When I made them, I didn’t fill them anything. (Do ravenous thoughts count?) Unfortunately for me, I was too poor to buy fillings on my own; my rice ball venture was a pursuit borne from desperation at the end of a bank account. They tasted sexless and fast, and were ugly to boot. Even in the photo they look scared and alone, like the world’s last colony of penguins. I wish Morgan Freeman were around to narrate this shit.