Rice Triangles with Ocean Confetti

Omusubi

The Japanese take the versatility of rice as a picnic food for granted, since they enjoy eating rice at room temperature, molded into a number of attractive shapes. These triangular sandwich-like rice bundles, garnished with a savory sprinkling of sea herbs and sesame, are packed for many a journey, hike, and school outing in Japan.

Ingredients

Method

  1. If you will be packing the rice for a picnic, it’s particularly important to salt it right after it has been cooked, as this acts as a preservative. Sprinkle the salt over the rice and toss lightly to mix well.
  2. Divide the rice into six portions. With either your hands or a special musubi-gata mold, shape the rice into triangles.
  3. Shaping with your hands: Keep your hands damp with cold water to prevent the rice from sticking to them. Compress the rice into a tight ball, and flatten the ball slightly. Moisten your hands again. Cup one hand to form a “roof” (upside-down V shape), and hold the other open to form a flat foundation. Squeeze the rice ball gently. Turn the rice, corner by corner, to compress each of the three corners, making a perfect triangle. Repeat to make six triangles in all.
  4. Shaping with a mold: Separate a musubi-gata mold into its two parts: a lid and a bottom, each in the shape of a double triangle. The bottom portion has holes in the sides of each triangle. Dip both pieces in cold water, and lay the bottom on your work board. Fill each triangle with a portion of rice; press the rice in firmly and evenly. Lift the lid piece from the cold water, and fitting it into the bottom, compress the rice inside. Remove the lid, invert the bottom, and tap the bottom to unmold the rice. If there is a problem, gently poke your fingers through the holes in the sides of the mold to help release the rice. Repeat to make six triangles in all.
  5. Decorate either the tops or the sides with Ocean Confetti. Serve immediately, or wrap each triangle snugly in clear plastic wrap. The salted, molded rice will keep well at room temperature for 5-6 hours.

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