Friday, October 21, 2011

Vegan MoFo: Simple Onigiri (U is for Umeboshi)

Brief post today. The Emperor came home from preschool this evening with a fever-- one thermometer said about 100 degrees, the other said about 102. From feeling him, I'm leaning more towards the 102. :/ He's all out of sorts, all slow and groggy and a little whinier than usual and just obviously not feeling right. Poor guy.

I'm not feeling great today either, though my bad feeling more comes down to stress and just having a crummy couple of days. (I also felt fevery for a few hours earlier at work, but that's over now.) I decided to do something really, really simple and traditional with today's ingredient: umeboshi!


Umeboshi are salty pickled plums from Japan. I l-o-v-e them and will eat them straight up, but understand I am in the minority here. Probably the most common thing to do with them is to stick them inside of onigiri, or rice balls. And that is exactly what I decided to do today.

Ingredients-wise, onigiri is the simplest thing in the whole world. It's rice with stuff inside, in this case umeboshi. It can be a little tricky to make, and I've tried before with mixed success... but I found a really good guide today and had good results.

Here's the completed onigiri:

Umeboshi onigiri

And a picture of the process-- there's the rice on the plastic wrap with the umeboshi in the middle, before the shaping:

Onigiri process

I always wonder if the umeboshi in the white rice is supposed to look like a Japanese flag or not. That's what it always makes me think of.

The Emperor ate a ton of white rice but was extremely, extremely displeased when he tasted the umeboshi. He kept telling me, "I can taste salty. I can taste salty. No salty. NO SALTY. I don't want to taste salty!" Here he is eating the non-salty bits of his rice ball though:

Rice ball boy

Something more exciting tomorrow I hope...


Amey said...

Oh damn! I'm sorry little guy is sick, and you're feeling fevery too! :( what a shame. I also love umeboshi, though I have a hard time eating it straight up. Supposedly it's good for the immune system, so maybe you'll feel better tomorrow. Xo

Jeni Treehugger said...

You've opened my eyes to so many things this MoFo, I've never heard of umeboshi. What a great word, I can't stop saying it.
Hope everyone is feeling better soon.

Nicola said...

Haha aww that's so cute "I can taste salty!" Nice try though!


Anonymous said...

You poor thing! I hope the Emperor and you are feeling better this weekend. xoxo, and I agree with Jeni. You have introduced me to so many new cool things!

michelle (meiji) said...

Poor emperor! yummyumeboshi - loving this post, thank you!

Mel said...

Sorry to hear you were sick. Hope you are both feeling better now. I have never eaten umeboshi but have always wanted to. Your onigiri look fantastic!

Sarah said...

Livi loves inari and in the beginning she made me take the tofu off and she would eat the plain rice - now she loves it with the tofu on, and sometimes she uses ginger! There's hope for the Emperor :)

susank said...

I lurve umeboshi-- I have the whole plums as well as the paste in a little squeeze bottle. Sometimes I sneak a taste from either one, straight. Your onigiri are beautiful! Have you tried grilling them for a lovely charred flavor on one side?

Babette said...

I couldn't help but laugh when I read your son was "extremely, extremely displeased" about the umeboshi. I can imagine!

I was looking at the pictures on your post and couldn't find the umeboshi... I was looking for umeboshi vinegar... didn't know it was a plum!