Onigiri: Ready to eat Japanese food

When J. came back from his long weekend in San Francisco last month, he brought gifts! Valentine’s Day, New Year, and Christmas: it was almost midnight but he was too excited to wait ’til morning for me to open them. His sister, our daughter, and he went to a store called ‘Tokyo Fish’ and shopped for me! Beautiful little dishes, chopsticks, chopstick holders, a cute little pan for roasting sesame seeds, a beautiful silk scarf, a book about the decorative art of Japanese Food Carving… (um, you do realize that was last month and I haven’t had time to post about it ’til now so I’m not sure you will be seeing fruit and vegetable flowers on my blog!) Not least among the presents was an ume onigiri, which he carried in his pocket on the plane. He bought two, but saved one for me.


Onigiri guidelines
Onigari made easy


19 thoughts on “Onigiri: Ready to eat Japanese food

  1. oh how i love onigiri. i would also like a nice little pan for roasting sesame seeds since i am on a serious sesame seed kick lately. what wonderful gifts.

    • The pan is small and has a screen lid so the seeds don’t pop out all over the stove! I wonder if you have ever tried using a sesame seed grinder?

      I see them at the Korean store, but they are sort of inexpensive and I guess that’s why I haven’t bought one. if you know what I mean: too cheap to be really useful. A suribachi works well enough, though it’s work if you need a lot of seeds.

  2. I can’t think of anything nicer than being woken at midnight for present giving. Each gift sounds like a gem…but to be given something small and exquisite carried in the pocket seems such a romantic gesture. Did Mr Tess whistle the clarinet solo from the Mozart concerto to wake you? (I had to pick up the flauti to pick out the theme).

    • Yeah, he’s a keeper!

      You play flute!!
      No, J. didn’t whistle the solo, though I’m sure he could—a friend sent me a link to this:

      I’m not musical at all, but I’d somehow gotten “Eine kleine Nachtmusik” into my brain and to eradicate the ear-worm my friend suggested the clarinet concerto. I found a score for it because I thought it would be helpful for my uneducated ear to have something to look at.

      Not sure it was useful, but when I saw the onigiri pictures, being so almost black and white, they reminded me of musical notes… This post might be a little too arty for a cooking blog, but I have interests beyond recipes—LOL.

  3. Dear Tess,
    this is what makes your blog such a jewel! I like the stream of consciousness too – the onigiri suggesting musical notation – the score – the earworm. Sometimes when I can’t sleep I do this – go back through the day in reverse order. A friend told me it is a Sufi practice too. Somehow following the thread calms the mind.

    I came to your blog because I love trying new Japanese dishes and although I have Hiroko Shimbo’s wonderful book your blog has illuminated it for me. It’s truly ornament and augmentation. I was hooked however by all your fascinating asides.

    Thanks for the link to the concerto too. I played the flute and my sister the clarinet when we were young so I remember her practicing this for some months. We made fun of each others instruments with increasingly flamboyant insults. Ah the follies of youth. That’s all behind me now of course.

  4. Oh thanks Tess!
    I’m actually Carolyn not Caroline but answer to both (it’s true “good times never seemed so good” but I hope to make more good times as I go). Thanks too for the offer of a score but I probably have one somewhere if I dusted off the music chest and took the time to riffle through it – you can probably guess my practice habits aren’t what they once were *sigh*
    As to old age it is a perpetual ghost but brings with it the gift of time and memories. As a semi-professional daydreamer that’s the one bit of ageing I do look forward to… *more sighing and staring out the window*

  5. Carolyn
    Sorry for the mistake. I have a friend named Gwyn but people spell her name Gwen all the time.

    I think its ghost of ‘old age’ is haunting me these days in a more distressing way. I look forward to the gift of time in my future (even now!!) to reflect and stare out the window! But my father is 88, and Alzheimer’s is not something a person hopes to experience.


    ok, my name misspelled with an odd lisp…

      • Well it’s the best performance I could find on Youtube. Unfortunately I don’t have that CD. The mp3 one is the best I had: it’s just a little bit slower than Hogwood’s, but that does make a difference.

        There’s an add-on for Firefox that allows you to create an mp3 out of a Youtube video; not for Macs though…

        • The clarinet is almost too perfect—Anthony Pay’s clarinet sounds more organic. There are a couple of silences that make me gasp.

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