Brown Rice and Red Beans Onigiri Recipe

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Simply Onigiri funa dn creative recipes for Japanese rice ballsBrown rice is unpolished rice and is an excellent source of iron, magnesium, vitamins, protein and fibre. Since the bran is still attached to the grains, it needs to be soaked in water for several hours to soften. I love the earthy flavour of brown rice but some people simply do not enjoy the taste of it. To make it more appealing to those who don’t like brown rice, I cook it with red beans. Red beans are also a good source of nutrients. Studies have shown that eating red beans may help lower cholesterol. Cooking brown rice is almost the same as cooking regular rice. If you have a pressure cooker, try cooking brown rice with it. The rice will be stickier and softer. Here, I used a regular rice cooker.

  • Yield: 4


  • 13½ oz (400 ml) Japanese short grain brown rice, washed
  • 23 fl oz (680 ml) water
  • 10.66 oz (50 g) Japanese red beans (adzuki)
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 4 in (5 x 5 cm) Kelp (dashi kombu), wiped with a wet cloth
  • 2 tbsp Toasted black sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1½ tsp Salt (optional)
How to Make It
  1. Start preparations a day ahead. Soak brown rice in some water and mix well. Discard water.
  2. Without adding water, stir rice with your hand rhythmically 5 times. Add water and rinse 2 more times.
  3. Before putting rice into the rice cooker, check the amount of rice with a measuring cup and add 1.7 times water to the rice into rice cooker. If washed rice is 400 ml (13½ fl oz), water should be 680 ml (23 fl oz).
  4. Leave rice to soak overnight.
  5. On the day of cooking, add washed red beans, sake and kelp in a rice cooker and cook according to the instructions on the rice cooker. When rice is cooked, remove kelp and gently stir through. Set aside.
  6. If using, combine sesame seeds and ½ tsp salt in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.
  7. Scoop 120 g (4¼oz) of the rice into a rice bowl. Wet your hands and spread a pinch of salt on your palms and fingers. Transfer rice to your hands and gently press rice 2–3 times into your preferred shape. Sprinkle sesame mixture over the rice ball, if desired. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

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