How to make a perfect grilled rice ball with crispy crust all around. 完璧な焼きおにぎりの作り方
Grilled rice balls 焼きおにぎり are the most common "shime" 締め dish for us when we fire up the grill, either the Konro or Weber. My wife really likes the crispy brown crust and encourages me to maximize the crust around the entire rice ball. But it is difficult to get crispy crust on all sides since the rice ball usually does not stand on the side by itself. At my wife's suggestion, I made a rice ball that does, in fact, stand on its side. I did this by making triangular-shaped rice balls with wider and perfectly flat sides. I shape the rice ball by placing an amount of cooked rice in the middle of a piece of plastic wrap. I gather the ends of the wrap together and form a ball. Then I shape the ball into a triangle. Since the rice ball is wrapped in plastic, I flatten the sides and then test to see if the rice ball will remain standing on the counter top without any support. If it rolls over I flatten the sides and test again. I do this on all three sides). Here they are! Standing up on their sides very proudly without any support. We now have the perfect grilled rice ball, nicely crunchy and brown crust all around. Toward the end of the grilling, I brush all the surfaces with either yuzumiso 柚子味噌 or mirin-soy sauce mixture. This time, I used Yuzumiso. In most Izakayas, grilled rice balls are not grilled long or thoroughly enough and certainly do not have a crunchy crust on all sides. Hope other Izakayas will emulated this (not likely).
By the way, a small white half moon shaped item is a Japanese turnip (ko kabu こかぶ) which was grown by our friend. It turned out that this kabu is rather spicy (hot).