Served golden and crisp, these rice cakes (onigiri) are a delicious way to bring Izakaya pub food to your next party.
Cook the sushi rice as directed on the pack, using 575ml of water. Fluff with a fork then stir in 2 tsp of the rice vinegar and 1 tsp of the sugar. Set aside to cool slightly while preparing the filling.
Meanwhile, to make the Quick Kimchee, bring the remaining rice vinegar, sugar, orange juice, Garlic Granules, Ginger and Crushed Chillies to the boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Place the cabbage, daikon, green onions and red pepper in a medium bowl. Toss with 1 tsp of the Sea Salt. Pour the cooled vinegar mixture over the vegetables and reserve until needed.
To make the chicken filling, mix the chicken, Japanese seven spice and remaining ¼ tsp of Sea Salt in a medium bowl. Heat 1 tbs of the oil in a large nonstick frying pan on medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Place the chicken in a medium bowl. Add the mayonnaise and Sesame Seeds and mix together to coat. Finely chop ¼ of the prepared kimchee and add it to the chicken mixture and mix again.
To form the rice balls, scoop about 1 heaped tbs of warm rice into the palm of your hand and make a deep indentation in the rice. Place about 2 tbs of chicken filling in the indentation. Using your hands, gently shape the rice around the filling, forming into a cake about 8cm (3”) wide and 2cm (¾-inch thick) or a ball, adding additional rice if necessary to enclose the filling. Repeat with the remaining rice and chicken filling.
Heat the remaining oil in the same frying pan on a medium-high heat. Cook the rice balls in batches for about 3 - 4 minutes per side, or until golden and crispy.
To serve, sprinkle the rice balls with Furikake Seasoning. Strain the kimchee, reserving the vinegar mixture. Serve the rice balls with Quick Kimchee and the reserved vinegar mixture for dipping.
Keep a bowl of cold water nearby when preparing the rice balls. If your hands get too sticky while forming the rice balls, wet them in the cold water and continue forming the rice balls.
All components of this dish can be made ahead. Store the prepared sushi rice, cooked chicken filling, Quick Kimchee and reserved vinegar mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Reheat sushi rice before forming rice balls. Cook and serve rice balls as directed.