Sunday, May 17, 2009

nikumaki onigiri

We're back from our little trip, but I need to go through photos and think up what to write, so in the meantime, here is a post I had in my drafts which I had written up about our dinner this past Thursday.

Have you ever been influenced by a photo? The other day I was looking through the television guide and was oohing drooling over this photo.

Since we don't subscribe to a newspaper, I usually buy a television guide from the bookstore. This television guide comes out about every 2 weeks and is like a magazine filled with info on movies, CDs, DVDs, Japanese books, the latest food trends, events and some fashion, as well as the television schedule.

So, as I was flipping through the latest issue, I noticed this photo of nikumaki onigiri. The one on the far left actually has cheese on it.

The caption on the photo says "nikumaku onigiri 300 yen (about US$3). Japanese pork soaked in a special sauce for 6 hours is wrapped around rice then baked in the oven to perfection"...doesn't it make your mouth just water??

I then googled around to find a recipe, but everything I found didn't sound "right", mainly because most used beef. Some used a pre-made bottled sauce.

Then I came across a company that sold this online. Apparently this type of onigiri is a popular food item in Miyazaki prefecture. Miyazaki is located on Kyushu, the third largest and southern-most of the four major islands of Japan.

While they didn't give a recipe (because they are selling their product online), they did give a list of the ingredients which they use for their product. They listed berkshire pork, rice, shoyu, sugar, apple, ginger and garlic. As soon as I saw "apple", I immediately thought of...bulgogi!

So, I bought some thinly sliced pork belly and some kim chee.

Nikumaki Onigiri : makes 6
1.5 cups cooked rice, warm
1/2 pound pork belly, thinly sliced for shabu shabu (hot pot which you swish the meat in a broth)

Marinade taken from bulgogi yanyomu:
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
1/4 apple or asian pear, grated
2 tablespoons minced green onion
1 tablespoon grated garlic
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 tablespoon ground sesame seed
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil

1/2 tablespoon honey
sesame seeds
kim chee

With the warm rice, make cyclindrical onigiri then chill for a couple of hours.
Put together marinade.
Wrap each onigiri with pork, covering the rice as much as possible.
Marinate for 30 minutes, turning them around at 15 minutes.
Heat pan and cook well.
Drizzle with honey just before removing from pan
Sprinkle with sesame seeds
Cut in half and serve with kim chee

NOTES: I know the caption said that the meat was soaked, but wasn't sure if I that was how I should do my version. Each onigiri took about 2 or 3 slices of pork, if you can find wider sliced pork belly you could probably cover your onigiri with 1 slice.

Try to cook at a low heat to cook all the way through. I ended up microwaving since mine weren't cooked through. I am thinking the next time, I will soak the meat first then try baking it. This was delicious! It would probably be nice as a pupu (appetizer) or even in a bento. I served it as our main dish with some kim chee and cucumber sticks.


OkiHwn said...

Check out the new link I've added - Hiroyuki's Bog.

K and S said...

Thanks Nate, will check it out!

Take care.

Unknown said...

Wow, thanks for the recipe! I've never heard of these onigiri before; they look and sound yummy! :)

K and S said...

You are welcome, Opy, I hope you like it :)

Take care.

Deb in Hawaii said...

Your look even better than the picture. Yum!

K and S said...

Thanks Deb, you are too kind!

Take care.

manju said...

These are new to me, Kat, thanks for sharing. We're going to try these soon with the extra ginger as you suggest. Your photo of the wrapped onigiri is awesome.

K and S said...

I've redone the recipe recently and baked them in the oven. Takes out a lot of the fat from the pork Manju, a little more work but worth it :9

Take care.

AussieGC said...

Thanks for this recipe. Our local Farmers Market has a stall selling these (fantastic). I have been searching for a recipe, the 'Official' site says that the meat is marinated for 24 hours in a ginger-tanged secret sauce. Will try your recipe though.

K and S said...

I hope you like these AussieGC.

Take care.