Onigiri Japanese Rice Ball おにぎり [Recipes, All Seasons 1年通]

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I am experiencing the warmest November since I came back to Japan 13 years ago.   

When it is sunny,  the temperature sometimes goes up as if it is still late summer, but the air is already like the one of winter, that means dry and sharp, not humid, and the sky looks higher up with clearer blue color.  

However, morning and night are already very chilly like winter.

So I am using the stove to make my room warm and yutampo/hot water bag to keep myself warm.   

And lots of heat generating cooking! 

Simmering vegetables and beans in clay pots are necessities for me during cold seasons.

It is well known even among Japanese people that November is the month of celebration of Thanksgiving day for Americans and Canadians.

But many Japanese people are not aware that Japan also has a similar holiday in November.

It is November 23 and is called "勤労感謝の日, Kinrohkanshanohi", which literally means labor thanks day.

There is a history about this "labor thanks day" why it was named this way and why it became a holiday.

I think most of the people have not paid attention to this holiday and do not know what actually "labor thanks" means, and how to celebrate this day.  (Japan has many holidays compared with other countries, and this holiday is not the only one that is not easy to understand why such holiday was created.)

Originally, it was the day to celebrate the harvests of the year, especially harvest of the rice.

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The rice was considered the soul of  Japanese, and people believed the god exists inside of each grain. 

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I am not sure if it is true or not, but I am sure that rice is very powerful, not only giving energy but also raising our vitality and making pure blood, when it is eaten unpolished and in Macrobiotic way.

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Rice is the most important staple in Japan even in this modern society.

Therefore I am encouraging people to express our gratitude for the fact that we are sorrounded by abundant of food, and also to eat newly harvested fresh rice on this date.

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"Onigiri/rice ball" is the best rice dish to appreciate the quality of rice (and also to feel the love of person who made it for you.)

It is the most popular rice dish in Japan.  

Children bring to school for lunch, excursion and events.

Family often bring for picnic and outings.

Unfortunately they are sold in all the convenience stores and too easily available nowdays, young people do not bother to make onigiri by themselves any more.

(When I see the labeling of it, I feel like fainting as it is laden with chemical additives. The ingredients of the onigiri should be only rice, salt, nori sea vegetable and simple filling like salty plum or salty kombu with simple ingredients.)

Today, I am sharing the recipe of onigiri.

But actually it is so easy to make, you can make your original onigiri without following my recipe precicely.

Because onigiri is very personal dish that contains the love and the spirit of the cook,which are squeezed into the rice from his/ her hand, any shapes of onigiri is precious.

So use your bare hands, and do not use the plastic onigiri mould when you make it.

I like to eat the onigiri made by other people since I was young.

I could always see and feel their personalities in them.

Some make big round ones, some make very firm triangle ones, some make fluffy out shaped ones.   

Some make without nori sea vegetable, so the onigiri totally looks white.

Some cover all the surface with nori, so it looks totally black.  

May be you can celebrate "勤労感謝の日/Kinrohkanshanohi"  by cooking lots of rice and throwing onigiri making party.


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