Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Life... and onigiri

... But life pushes me to not stop, keep going, stay futile and continue smiling about things that may not be of great importance, like shopping, cooking, putting on make-up, writting...

No matter what happens in the world, no matter how many wars, disasters, how much pain, hatred, despair, deception, my heart must go on and life has to shine. Have you ever had this feeling, like when somebody broke your heart and you feel so much pain that you don't care about anything else? Or, when you have something so joyful happening in your life that it feels like there is no room in you for suffering? This is the pulsion of life or death. 

And when we turn off the TV or our computer after watching or reading the news, we all manage, somehow, to go back to our lives, keep the tears and fears inside us and smile, laugh, get upset about small things, complain about this or that... This is not even being selfish, but just being alive...

There is a French poet that I love, Jacques Prévert, who wrote: "It is an obligation for parents to be happy." And I think he was was right, as parents, we do have to be happy in order to make our children happy, because they are so much influenced by what we do and how we feel. And as I look at my little boy, who is so small and yet so strong already, I am thinking that yes, I have to be happy, no matter what happens around me or in the world, I have to believe and be strong and smile. My smile will show him that smiling is good, my fun will make him want to have fun, my love will make him love others.

Jacques Prévert, photographed by Robert Doisneau.
I love this picture, the cigarette, the dog,
the glass of wine, and Prévert's posture that says so many things...

When my son is older, I will cook him onigiri, these rice balls that Japanese people make and that are so good and so much fun to make for a pique-nique. I will tell him a few things that I know about Japanese and Japan.

Now, maybe some of you will want to cook onigiri. So find the nearest Japanese or Asian store near your place, or a website where you can order Japanese rice and maybe other things that you will need and let's cook Japanese! 

How to make onigiri (Japanese rice balls)

1. First of all, you have to cook Japanese rice. You will find on the Internet how to cook it, but personnaly, I use a rice cooker and if you want to make Asian food at home quite often, I warmly recommand that you buy one because it is much easier and you are sure to make good rice with it. You can find some at a very low price at any Asian store or even at any department store (fancier and much more expensive...) But before cooking the rice, always remember to RINCE it several times (like four or five times, until the water is clear).

My rice cooker looks like this one, it is the most basic one.

2. Once your rice is cooked, put it in a big bowl and let it cool off for a moment. 

3. Prepare your stuffing. You can stuff your onigiri with a mix of tuna and mayonnaise, pieces of fresh or cooked salmon, seasoned beaf, eggs, whatever you want!

3. Put water on a bowl. Wet your hands with water and put salt on your hands. Then take a ball of rice (if you want a small onigiri, take a small amount of rice, if you want a big one, take more rice). Make a hole in the rice ball and stuff it with a small amount of your stuffing. Then close the hole with rice and make sure the stuffing stays well in the middle of the rice ball by pressing on the rice.

4. Then shape the onigiri. If you have onigiri molds, it is easier. You can buy them at Japanese or Korean stores. If you don't have onigiri molds, then shape the rice ball in the form of a triangle with the palm of your two hands, press well to make sure the rice will stick and the onigiri will stay in shape.

Onigiri mold

Look how cute this is!
You can make onigiri for children with those!

5. To add taste and make it look nicer and also to make it easier to hold, you can wrap your onigiri with nori. I personnaly love the taste of nori.

Nori. I recommand that you buy a good brand
because they taste better than the cheap ones...

Another alternative, is to buy onigiri seasonning in a Japanese store. Then instead of stuffing the rice with tuna or salmon, you just mix the seasoning with the rice and shape the onigiri. You can find many kinds of seasoning, just take the one you like the most.

Onigiri seasoning.
Et voilà! This is what you will get: nice looking, delicious home-made onigiri. You will impress your friends and family with them and find that this is a very healthy alternative to your regular sandwich!

My onigiri...
Ah and there is a website that I love, I got a lot of Japanese recipes there, it is super fun and the recipes are great: youtube.com/user/cookingwithdog

Back to my little baby who is asking for his milk... I'll cook Japanese another day...


Bohemian Life said...

It is perfect, we do love sushi and this is a great match with our taste ;) Thanx

Anabelle Tess said...

I am glad you like it! Do you have a Japanese store near where you stay? Try it and tell me how good it was!!!