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mayonaka47 4:45pm, 1 October 2008
Alright, so I finally get a good answer to what kind of rice I need to look for at the supermarkets here and now I ask this question: What do you, people of Midwest America, use to put into your onigiri/sushi?

I'm in Mid-Missouri, so I'm not sure where I could find a Japanese store (if there is any) here for items like furikake, etc. I just manage to find most items in the health food aisles and the small Asian sections we have.

I'm huge on seafood, but I'll be willing to try anything.
mxhashim 13 years ago
i make plain onigiri. the Cooking Cute lady has a bunch of non-hard-to-make/find fillings at her blog (www.cookingcute.com/) though she's stopped recent posts. at any target with the grocery store you can get a reasonable quality short grain rice - some brands that work well are botan (big rose on the package) or Nishiki or Kokuho Rose brands but I imagine any short grain rice that isn't washed too much would work with sufficient stickiness. For sushi i put smoked salmon in vinigared rice. You really shouldn't have too much trouble finding ingredients, and depending how far you are from an urban center (how midwestern are you - Milwaukee, Madison, Twin Cities & Chicago should all have decent large Asian stores) you can go for a fun shopping trip, but you can also order from IchibanKan to try things. The Just Bento website also has homemade furikake recipes.
Not Marcia 13 years ago
If you're near the Ozarks, you could visit some of the Korean groceries near Fort Leonard Wood, MO. They have some Japanese inventory. Most military installations have Asian markets nearby. I live in South Texas. Japanese aren't exactly thick down here. The international aisle of our grocery stores stocks the basics. Once in a while, it's worth a roadtrip to Houston's Chinatown.
im in st.louis and there are 3 that i know of here.
punkinpie 13 years ago
I lived in Columbia, MO before and was able to find many good grocery items at the Korean market downtown. My favorite filling for onigiri is really simple. i think I made it up. It is not authentic. I take a can a tuna and drain it. Put it in a bowl and mix it with a good tablespoon or two of sesame oil, plus a tablespoon or two of mayonnaise, plus a tablespoon of black sesame seeds, plus a good squirt of Shiratcha (spelling? - it is the hot sauce with the picture of the chicken on the bottle, found in many stores). You can vary the amount of Shiratcha depending on how spicy you like your food. Then mix it all up really well and fill your onigiri mold half way with vinegared rice. Plop a scoop of you tuna mix in, cover and press. Viola.
punkinpie 13 years ago
Sriracha is the real name of the hot sauce.

See here:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sriracha
mayonaka47 13 years ago
Thank you all for your help!

I'm close to Columbia, MO. Would you be able to tell me where the Korean market is?
♫ bunnychan εїз 13 years ago
cooking cute stopped a while because she had a baby ^^
spookypaperdoll 13 years ago
oh, I'm from SE Missouri. I usually make plain onigiri, but sometimes I add extra sugar to the mix and use dried fruit for the filling for a sweet tropical-style.
snappiness 13 years ago
I put anything I want in onigiri -- mostly leftovers. I chop up roasted chicken; leftover hamburger with a little ketchup; stir fry meat; all kinds of veggies, just whatever I have hanging around that we like and goes with rice. One super easy thing is to take frozen meatballs, heat them up and either put a whole or half one in a ball-shaped onigiri. Fast!
devlyn 13 years ago
I'm not from the midwest, but some of my favorite onigiri stuffing is stuff that I would normally use in sandwiches, like curried chicken salad and egg salad. I just mince the salad up a bit finer and stuff it in the middle - they're really tasty. I've also found that with wetter fillings, it's easier to make the onigiri spherical first, then when it's packed well, you can change the shape. Hope this helps!
mayonaka47 13 years ago
Thank you all for your input! I think I now know what I can do, but I could always use more ideas. ;)

Btw, this for anyone anywhere, I just wanted to know how people from the Midwest found great-tasting fillers that wasn't anything Japanese. (Basically, stuff I can find in the Midwest especially)
mxhashim 13 years ago
Canned tuna is common, and I've seen people do taco meat or some sort of spiced chicken - maybe think anything that you would like to eat with rice - curried peas & potatoes or tofu, flaked tuna or salmon, ground beef with onions & a bit of hot sauce or spaghetti sauce... if it were a pile of rice, you'd put something on top... well just put that something inside. Not too wet, not too big.
jdehlic 13 years ago
I'm from Kansas City, so there are many Asian markets here, but I still like to use what I can get easily and nearby. I have found that meat from the local BBQ place is very good (minus sauce of course), also I like the ubiquitous wonder roast chicken from the grocery store. I am also VERY fond of pieces of cornbread coated fried catfish strips.
somana 13 years ago
have you considered sauteed mushrooms with a cream sauce?
how about some of these?:

-Sloppy Joe Mix-with the meat and the sauce
-chopped leftover meatloaf
-SPAM
-Pot Roast-chopped up, with some of the fixin's like the carrots/celery or potatoes? - think pasties but with the onigiri twist
-baked chicken chopped up and mixed with a little of your favorite flavor sauce-BBQ, Teriyaki, Chicken Gravy, etc...you get the idea
-cut up brats and have some mustard mixed in the filling for flavor
-chili
-Dinty Moore stew
-Reuben Sandwich fixins-chop the pastrami or corned beef up to fit mix with 1000 Island dressing and add saurkraut if you want
-stuffed cabbage leftovers chopped up to fit
-chopped roast turkey and cranberry sauce
-perch or catfish, chopped up to fit maybe tartar sauce mixed in or on the side?

I hope this helps, my dad is from the Midwest, so these are some of the things that our family would like in onigiri. =oD
cmtigger1 13 years ago
I'm not "from" the midwest, but I lived in Kansas for 5 years....

I do have a couple things to add to that list.
-chopped black olives with a bit of mayo (drain the olives well)
-tuna salad, chicken salad or egg salad

Like others have said, pretty much anything you'd eat in a sandwich!
Crystallin 13 years ago
thanks for all of the ideas. I love the idea of a chili stuffed onigiri.
punkinpie 13 years ago
The grocery store in Columbia, MO is:

Chong's Oriental Market‎
701 Locust St.
Columbia, MO

You can google search it for directions. I love that store. I always shopped there when I lived in Columbia. It doesn't look that exciting when you first walk in but when you really look at the items to see what they are there are a lot of great things. The best is the mochi ice cream.
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