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Remember when you were in college (or high school) and everyone said that when you move out on your own you will suddenly and magically have more time for yourself? First off, those people were lying through their teeth (but it is nice not to write four papers in one week). Second off, you will find yourself spending much more time in the kitchen trying out new things to keep yourself fed and happy. That goes for double when you find yourself with an adult onset allergy to peanuts and your other half’s extended family decides to throw an Asian themed potluck over the holidays.

That’s when you decide you better figure out how to make something Asian themed that is quick, easy, and cheap.

My first handmade onigiri! I feel like my cooking skill has increased by 1.

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Being a fan of various anime, manga, and Japanese street fashion, the obvious choice is to learn how to make the stand-by Japanese comfort food: onigiri (riceballs for the rest of the world). Since I do want to impress, my fiance got me an onigiri mold so I could make perfect little triangles that are about as big as my hand. If I were to make them by hand, my onigiri would be half the size because I have tiny hands. Plus, he got me bigger ones so I would have room to stuff them with a tasty filling. That’s why we took the mold for a test run last night before the party next Monday.

Filling: chicken cooked in soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. Rice flavored with pink salt.

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Since we have lots of chicken (my fiance is fantastic at finding cheap, but still high quality meat), I decided to go with a family standby with an Asian twist which ends up being an overall Asian flavor profile anyway. Chicken cut up into bite sized pieces and cooked in soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Then I flavored the rice with a bit of Himalayan Pink Salt.

It was a fun way to spend an evening and these little treats were fun to eat. The slowest thing about them was cooking the rice and figuring out how to pack the mold so that the sticky short grain rice didn’t stick all over my hands (tip: just make sure your hands are damp and the rice won’t stick). I’m still trying to figure out how much filling to put in them, but two to three breasts of chicken would make several rice balls. I ended up with three cups of cooked rice that made four onigiri, so it is something that you can make cheaply and still be tasty.

New apartment, more time in the kitchen, less time for knitting. I’m going to break out the crock pot so I can get some knitting time in!

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