And I picked up all these ingredients at my local 99c only Store! How's that for a unique cheap$kate meal? Hang out with The 99 Cent Chef and you can live high on the hoof - so read on and I'll give you the Beef Onigiri recipe: presented with yummy photos, GIFS, and a video.
There's not much to it, really. Just click here to see my sticky Sushi Rice recipe - that's the only atypical ingredient, but even that is a cinch to make when you follow my unique stop-motion video instructions.
As for steak, well, I get a single serving and marinate it in soy sauce, sugar, and a little garlic. That's a lot of flavor. I like working with these cheap small 3-ounce packages of rib-eye. It's my favorite cut of beef because you get that large centerpiece of sirloin and a marbled strip of super-tender loin along the edge - the best of both worlds.
These small steaks are perfect for stir-fries, like my Beef Broccoli recipe, here. You don't need an $8 slab of beef for my recipes. And while 3 ounces of steak at 99.99 cents still equals 5 bucks per pound, you are saving money by using such a small amount (and saving calories too.)
Japanese Onigiri is fast food from the East. It's portable and filling. You can wrap almost any favorite veggie or cooked protein in sticky rice. Check out my Salmon Salad Onigiri recipe from last month, here, to see what I mean.
Sticky rice is messy to handle, so use a sheet of plastic wrap. My video leaves this part out: I made the rice ball the traditional way of using my hands, and moistened it with a little water. However, most chefs now use plastic wrap to press and form the Onigiri.
You can present the Beef Onigiri plainly or wrap it with a sheet of dried seaweed snacks. You can get packages of dried seaweed snacks almost anywhere now, and what's so great about them is they are pre-cut to a perfect size.
My Beef Onigiri recipe makes about 4 rice balls, and it's easy enough to double the recipe. So give it a go - it's a perfectly delicious small bite.
Beef Onigiri - VIDEO
Play it here, video runs 2 minutes.
My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.
Ingredients (about 4 rice balls for 1 to 2 servings)
1 cup brown or white rice - use my Sushi Rice recipe. Click here to see the video.
3 ounces of steak - I used a small rib-eye steak. You can use sirloin or any tender cut of beef, even ground meat like beef, chicken, or turkey.
1 tablespoon soy sauce - I used low sodium.
1/2 teaspoon sugar - or a favorite sweetener, that can be sauteed with the meat. Okay to add more to taste.
1/2 teaspoon garlic - chopped. Okay to use garlic powder or dried garlic.
1 teaspoon oil - for sauteing meat.
Dried seaweed - optional. I used pre-cut (about 2 by 4 inches) dried seaweed snacks. Okay to use any size really, just cut them with scissors.
Prepare sushi rice according to my directions here (or use your favorite recipe.) Allow cooked rice to reach room temperature.
Chop steak into small bite-sized pieces. Add a marinade of soy sauce, sugar, and garlic. Mix well and set aside for 5 to 15 minutes. If steak marinades longer, then store it in the refrigerator.
In a frying pan, over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon oil. Saute marinated beef until done, about 2-3 minutes. Drain and remove meat when done. Allow to cool down a couple of minutes.
In the video above I formed the rice ball with my dampened hands. But it's cleaner and easier to use a sheet of plastic wrap.
For assembly, place the sheet of plastic wrap on a dry surface. Pile on about half a cup of cooked rice in the middle of a plastic sheet. Press into the middle of the rice mound to make space for the cooked steak. Add about a tablespoon of steak.
Add just enough rice on top of steak pieces to cover (optional - okay to leave steak exposed.) Pick up the four corners of the plastic to start forming a ball. Now you can close up the rice ball with plastic wrap. Lightly roll and squeeze the ball. You can keep it round; flatten one side; or form a traditional triangle shape.
It's okay to eat the rice ball right out of the plastic wrap, or make a few Beef Onigiri and serve on a plate. For extra flavor, use a piece of dried seaweed and partially wrap the Onigiri. The piece of seaweed gives you a dry surface to hold, for easier eating.
This recipe is easy to increase. Just double the ingredients list to make twice as much.
Use cheaper ground meat like beef, chicken, or turkey - just mix in the marinade and saute until cooked through. Any chopped meat is okay including beef, pork, chicken, and even flaked, cooked fish. You could also stuff rice balls with canned (drained) tuna, salmon, chicken or turkey.
Okay to substitute meat with chopped veggies (steamed and/or raw) and cooked mushrooms.
Cooked beef can be on top of a rice ball -- meat can be exposed, or covered with rice.