Perilla onigiri


When I worked in a Japanese nightclub, the chef taught me how to make Japanese rice balls (onigiri – translates to “housewife obligation). In their most simple form, they are a triangular wedge of leftover rice. My favourite was yaki-onigiri, which are grilled with a special sauce, and I never learned how to make them. There are many variations, with things like grilled salmon or pickled plum inside, or made from rice seasoned with furikake.

There are loads of different furikake, and most of them contain bonito (dried fish) so they aren’t suitable for vegetarians, but this purple one (my favourite) is. Perilla is a glorious herb that is largely unknown in Australia, though you can find it in places like Cabramatta, and it dos crop up in Vietnamese restaurants. The flavour is indescribable, and not really a lot like the furikake. I also doubt that the colouring is natural, and the list of ingredients does go a little bit beyond what I consider to be real food, but as a treat, I don’t mind now and then.

Inigo has had his social life at school pick up a bit, so he has been saying that he “doesn’t have time” at lunch to eat, and he’s been coming home with uneaten lunches. Oh, to be so popular 😉

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