The short answer is no.
The long answer is that I experimented (quite a bit) with dieting in my teens and early twenties, and through much trial and error, discovered that it’s not for me. Basically, dieting always had a way of making me feel deprived, and I like life (and myself) better when I don’t feel that way.What I do do, when I’m feeling like I need some sort of cleanse, is eat Japanese and Korean food.
A while ago, I stumbled across a photo of Japanese rice balls (or onigiri) on Lena Corwin’s blog and made a mental note to make them. Fast forward a year and one rice-cooker purchase later, and I finally cashed in on that mental note.Of course, nothing is ever as easy as it seems.
I had some trouble closing up the rice ball after having stuffed the insides with everything I wanted in there: avocado, cucumber, salmon, and a touch of umeboshi paste. So, I added more rice. Only, when I did get the thing into a ball-like shape without the insides coming out, the finished product was about the size of a grapefruit—not quite right either.. And Matt was happy because he doesn’t like salmon (Yet he does like lox?), and this variation allowed him to top off his version with a fried egg.
June’s Onigiri (or Japanese rice balls) slightly adapted from Lena Corwin
for the rice:
Japanese sticky rice (I assumed sticky rice meant sushi rice, and so used this recipe.)
toasted sesame seeds
ingredients for inside the rice ball:
salmon fillet (I got enough for two people, even though Matt didn't eat his portion.)
Persian cucumbers, seeded and sliced
umeboshi paste– optional
Japanese or Korean red pepper flakes – optional
Make 2 cups of sushi rice (makes 4-8 rice balls), and let it cool down a little. In the mean time, heat up a pan or cast iron grill and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil (I used grapeseed oil). Cook the salmon. I followed Lena's lead, putting it skin side down with a top over it until almost done (5-10 mins), then flipped it for one minute further. When the rice is not hot anymore, add the sesame seeds (about a 1/2 cup), sea salt to taste, and whatever other seasoning you want (I used Korean red pepper flakes). Taste the rice to see if you need to add more salt or sesame seeds.
At this point, make sure everything you want to stuff into your rice ball is prepped and ready. (Avocado and cucumber are sliced, etc.)
Put about a handful of rice either in a bowl or straight into your hand (You should definitely wet your hands with water a little bit before.) and then add a piece of salmon, avocado, umeboshi or whatever else you want in the middle. Then shape the rice in your hands – you can use plastic wrap if you feel more comfortable not touching the rice – and shape it into a triangular shape. (I ended up adding more rice on top and then trying to form it into some sort of ball, but you know how this ended up...) Add some more sesame seeds to garnish. Cut up the nori to wrap the rice ball in. This is best served at room temperature, so enjoy immediately, or at least, soon thereafter. (And if this doesn't work out for you, that's OK. Make rice bowls!)