Okay, it's April 2nd, fun's over. This week, for reals this time, we're making onigiri: the breakfasty-lunchy-snack, ubiquitous in Japan, and virtually unheard of here in the US. As such, some committee of suits saw fit to Americanize their portrayal on Pokémon, and a generation of these United States grew up thinking they were donuts...and the bastards made ten hundred billion dollars. Was it worth it, 4Kids Entertainment? Oh, it was? No yeah you're right.
2 cups water, divided
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar, separated
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp mirin
1 Tbsp sake
Sour pickled Japanese plums, pitted (umeboshi)
1 cup rice
2 Tbsp sugar, separated
1 tsp salt
Start by adding the kelp to a bowl of water for 15 minutes. Remove and thinly slice into strips. Add to a saute pan along with ½ a cup of water, 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar, 3 Tbsp of soy sauce, 1 Tbsp mirin, and 1 Tbsp sake. Cook over medium heat and bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes before adding 1 Tbsp of sugar. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and then add kelp to a bowl and set aside.
Take your sour pickled Japanese plums (also known as umeboshi) and remove the pits. Give them a little chop or mash them with a fork and set aside.
For the rice, start by rinsing the rice multiple times to remove the stach. The first couple times you wash it, it’ll be very cloudy. Continue to wash until it almost runs clear.
Add rice to a rice cooker or pressure cooker along with 1½ cups of water. Cook for 7 minutes on high pressure and then release the pressure using the pressure valve.
Spread the rice onto a sheet pan and drizzle with a mixture of 2 Tbsp of rice wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp sugar, and 1 tsp of salt. Give it a little mix to combine.
To form the Onigiri, have a small bowl of water ready because you want your hands to be wet or the rice will stick to them.
For the umeboshi nigiri, form the rice into a disc, add your umeboshi, and then cover the other side with another disc of rice. Form into a disc the size of a hockey puck.
For the kelp, form the rice into a disc, add the kelp along with another disc of rice and then form that into a triangle.
Add a strip of seaweed to each of your onigiri.
Serve and enjoy!