When Dear1 and Dear2 went on our Japan trip in 2008, we had triangular-shaped rice balls for breakfast in the business hotel on our first morning there. They came in various colors – green, red, purple, how weird. Wrapped with pickles within, or diced pickles all around, top with a steaming bowl of miso soup in the early morning, it was a fascinating morning meal for us both.
When we went to Taiwan earlier this year, while waiting for our pancake to be ready fresh, there were 2 other office ladies ordering rice balls on the other half of the road side stall. Hmm… We wondered what was it, so we ordered 1 ball to go as well. Hot and steaming, wrapped with some crunchy crackers and floss and a whole load other stuff in that gigantic rice ball, it was a surprisingly yummy breakfast for us.
One fine day, Dear1 had an idea to make rice balls for our own breakfast as well. A trip to NTUC and it seems that the short grain Japanese rice only comes in 2.5kg bag. No choice, I’ll just have to make lots of rice balls to eat. Buy some frozen fish finger fillet, 200g of pork floss from Bee Cheng Hiang, the medium hard type ones cos there were the soft fluffy ones, the very crispy ones, and the medium hard ones that was a nice in between. With 1 big pack of bite-sized seaweed left over from our Korea trip, we are ready to make rice balls!
First, oh, we gotto soak the washed rice for 30min before cooking. After cooking, we gotto leave it for a further 15min, hmm… Oven bake the fish fingers, prepare a piece of cling wrap over a rice bowl, lay some rice on it, top with the fish fingers and GENEROUS servings of the pork floss, cover with more rice, wrap the whole cling tightly, compact it nicely into a ball shape first, then shape it into a triangular one, finally remove from cling wrap and lay it on a piece of seaweed. Tata, we have a nice rice ball (or triangle)!
First attempt at making rice balls and I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome. Baby1 took a few bites too, and she seems to like it too. Some refinements needed though. Firstly, the rice has to be laid real thin without exposing the inner ingredients. Too much rice to ingredients ratio makes the ball a tad too plain for savours. Then, the pork floss has to be real generous. Again, the ball won’t taste nice if there’s too little ingredients within. Next, don’t make the ball too big. Too big means not easy to handle with all the stuff spilling out from within. Finally, remember to compact the rice real tight, otherwise the triangle won’t be able to stand up nice and proud.
Happy making rice balls, yum yum!