Mixed Grain Onigiri with rice, red rice, black rice, sticky rice, millet, amaranth, quinoa, barley, oats, and sesame seeds. Very tasty and satisfying.
Onigiri embodies home, safety, and comfort to most Japanese. In a week where events have sorely tested that nation, those three things are much needed. The scale of devastation wreaked by the earthquake, tsunami, and the nuclear meltdown continue to shock all of us. For those of us who wish to help in the recovery efforts, donations can be made through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and The Salvation Army.
On my last trip to Japan, I discovered juukokumai (ten grain mix) in Komagane. It consists of brown rice, red rice, black rice, sticky rice, millet, amaranth, quinoa, barley, oats, and sesame seeds. There is no hard and fast rule on how much of it you should mix into your rice. I normally add about two tablespoons to each cup of raw rice giving the cooked rice a nutty flavor and a light purplish color. The family loves onigiri when on the move. I like to mix in these grains making it a compact and nutritious little parcel from home.
Many Asian grocery stores now carry Chinese and Taiwanese varieties of pre-packed mixed grains which can be used for this purpose. You can also put together your own mix as in my Mixed Grain Okayu.
This is the juukokumai (ten grain mix) that I purchased in Komagane.
Mixed Grain Onigiri
- 1½ cups medium grain rice (Kohuko Rose, Nishiki, Botan) (300g)
- ¼ cup zakkokumai (mixed grains) (50g)
- 2 cups water (480ml)
- 1 tsp salt mix with 1 cup (240ml) water
- 2 to 3 sheets nori (cut into strips) (optional)
- Prepare 2 to 3 onigiri molds of any shape.
- Mixed the rice and grains together. Rinse rice mix 4 to 5 times or until water runs clear. Soak rice in fresh water for 20 minutes. Drain.
- Place rice mix in a medium sized pot with 2 cups (480ml) water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook until water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and leave pot on for another 5 minutes. Turn off heat, remove pot, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Fluff up rice with fork.
- Wet the onigiri mold and hands with salted water. Fill mold to the top with cooked rice. Use lid to compact rice. Remove lid, turn mold over and press down the center to unmold rice.
- Wrap or decorate with nori strips.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎
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