These rice balls were just a way for me to utilize a bucketload of leftover brown rice. With rice of any kind, it can be very bland. In the case of brown rice, that is no exception. I knew that I had to inject as much flavor as I could into it, so I wanted to do that by way of folding aromatics into it, and then crisping up the rice with duck fat. I did not want to go Middle Eastern with this route, however, just because the earthy, nutty profiles of the brown rice do not necessarily take well to being spiced or being paired with something that is spiced. So I went Japanese. Rice balls, or onigiri, are very delicious when grilled, and I had several grilled rice balls between all of the pan Asian restaurants I have eaten at or work at over the years. I opted to grill mine, but you can also sear them in a cast iron as well. Whatever it takes to just get that char onto them. What I love about these is that the rice is packed full of flavor, and is almost steamed and fluffy in the middle, but the exterior is crispy and crunchy. Eat them for a meal, for a snack,
throw them at somebody who annoys you, whatever you want to do with them.
For the onigiri:
2 cups cooked brown rice
3 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
1/4 cup miso paste
3 tablespoons mushroom soy sauce
Peel and mince the garlic and shallots. Toast the shallot, garlic, and sesame seeds in the duck fat, stirring until translucent and browned. Toss into a pot with the miso paste, soy sauce, and the cooked brown rice. Fold together until combined. Heat up a grill pan until hot. To form the onigiri, use an ice cream scoop. Brush the exterior of the rice balls with duck fat. Grill on low heat on each side for 30 seconds, rotating constantly. Do this for a total of six minutes to guarantee that ever side of the onirigi was been grilled thoroughly and that the exterior will be crispy.