Onigiri Bears (Rice ball bears recipe)

Onigiri Bears (Rice ball Bears recipe)
Ingredients serving 5
Original recipe makes 5 rice ball bears
The measuring cups used are all the type that is used in the US.

Boiled rice
1cup water
1cup rice (I used the Japanese rice brands koshihikari)
food coloring (red)I used a natural food coloring
150 g(5,3oz) ground pork
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1tablespoon sugar
1tablespoon soy sauce
For face
Toasted nori seaweed
1-2 sliced daikon radish(Japanese radish)
1.  Put the rice in a bowl, pour water and mix quickly for a fast wash, then immediately throw away the cloudy water. Please be especially careful because if you do not throw away the cloudy water immediately, your rice will not cook as tasty as it should. Wash the rice 20 to 30 times pushing it back with the palm of your hand. Throw away the cloudy water and add new water. Repeat 3 or 4 times until the water does not become cloudy anymore.
Place the rice in a sieve and let it sit for 30 minutes in the summer, or 60 minutes in the winter. If you cook the rice right after washing it, it will not become fluffy.

2.Drain the water off the rice and place it in a small pot. Add as much water as rice and a little bit of food coloring to make it pink. Cover with a lid and cook over a strong fire. Once it boils, stir and then cover again. Lower the flame and cook for 10 more minutes. Turn the fire off and let steam for 10 minutes.
The rice is not usually stirred while cooking it in the pot. However, in this recipe, since the amount of rice is rather small, stirring it helps to avoid the rice becoming hard.

3.Make the pork soboro (seasoned ground meat.) Put the ingredients marked with a (star) symbol in a small pot, mix well and cook on a strong fire. Use a wooden spatula to keep stirring it while cooking until the juices evaporate and stop the fire.

4.Once the rice is ready, open the lid, wet a spatula with water and use it to lightly mix the rice, bringing it up from the bottom of the pot. If you smash the grains of rice, it will not taste as good, so be careful.
Divide the warm rice in 5 parts and wrap each of them in plastic wrap.

5.Make two very small rice balls using the rice that you set apart first. These will be the ears of the bear. Each of these small rice balls should be about 5 grams(about 0,2oz).
Wrap the rest of the rice in plastic wrap, and place 1 tablespoon of seasoned ground meat on top. Make a ball with the rice so the meat will be at the center.
Take the plastic wrap off, wet your hands slightly and sprinkle some salt on the rice ball.

6.Make the face of the bear by cutting small pieces of seaweed. 
(I used a seaweed puncher to make eyes and nose.)
For the white part of the face, I put some salt on radish and cut it in small pieces.
The seaweed puncher is very convenient, since all you have to do is place the seaweed in it and push to cut out the parts of the face. You can buy it on Amazon Japan. http://www.amazon.co.jp/%E8%B2%9D%E5%8D%B0-KAI-FG5103-chuboos-FG-5103/dp/B001F7MJCO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403676049&sr=8-1&keywords=%E6%B5%B7%E8%8B%94%E3%83%91%E3%83%B3%E3%83%81
Leave some seasoned ground meat after you make the rice balls. You can use this meat to eat it with warm rice, and it is also yummy wrapped in vegetables such as lettuce.

Because this blog translates Japanese in a translation site and writes it, there may be the place where a sentence is wrong sorry.
Thank you for reading this to the end.

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