That’s right – part 2.

The first post from this mini “series” that I never actually thought of as a series but maybe really is a series was about cakes. Toradora cakes to be specific.

Then in this post I shared with you some of the drawings I was making for school. Now we are talking about cooking once again and this time its not a dessert.

It’s onigiri.

Onigiri

Onigiri, or rice balls are a simple Japanese food often used as breakfast or in bentos. They are essentially a triangle-shaped ball of rice filled with stuffings.

Usually they are decorated with some nori paper and seeds on top.

I’ve seen them across various anime. Most notably, I can recall Aisaka Taiga making onigiri during the Toradora OVA episode, and Hinata Miyake wearing a T-shirt with an onigiri on it.

While I’m not sure how well Hinata Miyake prepares her onigiri, I remember Aisaka Taiga made them too salty.

Was I able to do better?

Unlike the cake post, this time I actually have a picture.

Previous failures

I actually already tried making onigiri once. It was another one of my “home alone cooking experiements”. I tried doing it with the common rice you can buy in Croatia, and not the sushi rice that is required.

That time I also didn’t have the nori paper, so it lacked the look as well as the taste. And it didn’t really hold together so I ate most of it with the jaw.

But this time I came ready. I had the nori paper, I had the sushi rice. I had the tuna and mayo, one of the most common stuffings.

This was my day for making proper onigiri.

Ryuuji intensifies

Proper attempt

After cooking the rice exactly as it was written, waiting for it to start boiling, then lowering the temperature and leaving closed for 15 minutes…

…a lot of it was left sticking at the bottom of the pot. It left me wondering where did it go wrong. The amount of water was fine as well as timing so really, what was the problem?

My mother said it could be because of the plate. I guess we’ll just leave it at that.

In any case, the rice really tasted great. Its a better rice than the one I usually eat here. Just a shame that it costs significantly more than the “standard” one for these areas.

While the rice was cooking, I mixed the tuna with mayo, chopped a carrot, took out the cheese and “cropped” the nori paper into smaller bits.

An important thing to note is that before using the rice to shape the onigiri, you have to dampen your hands with salted water. Otherwise you are going to get a lot of the rice sticking on your hands.

I didn’t do this the last time, because back then I used a plastic wrap while shaping the rice, which you can also do if you don’t want to shape the rice with your hands directly.

Most of my onigiri were tuna-mayo filled. Once you get your shape, you place a small bit of the nori paper, for decoration but it also works nicely for holding the onigiri.

The nori is an edible part too ofcourse. It has quite a specific flavour but I can’t say I didn’t like it.

500 grams of the rice was enough for 7 onigiri. At the end, I put some flax seeds on them. Usually you would put sesame seeds but I didn’t have those this time.

Conclusion

That was fine and everything but where is the picture? How did it end up looking? Was it worth it? Was it tasty?

There they are. My first ever proper onigiri. Not all of them have that shape but I think it was a good attempt. Would, and will definitely do again. This time with sesame seeds and maybe wasabi because why not?

I already mentioned how the rice was great and the nori had a specific but good taste. Nothing to complain about the fillings either, cause I really love tuna and mayo.

But what I could add is that these things fill up your belly quicker than expected. 2 or 3 are more than enough as a meal after a soup.

Now I’d really like to try making them with more fillings, preferably Japanese specific. Or maybe next time I could try my hand at sushi. I did also buy those sushi rollers afterall.

If you’ve made onigiri, feel free to tell me how it went in the comments! Or what about other Japanese foods? Share your cooking stories in the comments! 😀

Affiliate links

If all of this made you want to buy some onigiri related stuff, you can do that on Amazon!

As a child I loved doodling stuff into notebooks and writing down my imaginary sports results, entertainment shows, and similar stuff.

But by high school I more or less stopped doing it. I “grew up” you may say.

Fast forward to Summer 2017 and I suddenly got hugely into Japanese “cartoons”. So much that I even felt like drawing again and improving my skills.

I watched various tutorials on how to improve, I practised drawing loads of eyes in different ways.

But most of the tutorial videos reached a similar conclusion – good drawing skills require A LOT of practice.

I guess you could only call it a small phase but I did give it a go. It resulted in a Fumikage Tokoyami drawing with some weirdly colored clothes.

I would show it if I had the picture around me right now.

Design theory

But that wasn’t all. The last year of high school was coming and with it the final year for the subject called “design theory” where we… Drew things.

A lot of my drawings ended up being anime related.
I was proud of most of them, despite the fact that it was more or less just traced stuff.

The assigment was to draw five aesthetic principles which were relation, symmetry, balance, domination and contrast.

Every week was spent thinking of a new way to incorporate anime into those aesthetic principles. It was great fun coming up with the ideas, but when I had all the 5 drawings ready, it was hard to actually determine which drawing represented each principle in the best way, since some drawings could easily fall into more categories.

This is my version of the Steins;Gate clocks from the opening, used as “relation”.

For “contrast” I tried to draw Shoto Todoroki during that certain amazing fight from My Hero Academia season 2.

“Balance” or “unity” was this scene from the opening of Girlish Number where the characters unite to make a star with their fingers.

This is a beautiful fanart of Fumikage Tokoyami that I just really wanted to try recreating myself. It was used as “domination”.

At first my idea for “domination” was Shinya Kogami from Psycho-Pass pointing the dominator. I even finished the drawing but wasn’t entirely satisfied with the result and I realized it doesn’t actually fit that well for the intended role.

I can’t seem to find the drawing so I can’t post it here now…

What we have next are the emblems of team JNPR from RWBY arranged into this unity. I first thought it could be used as “unity” but I then realized it could actually serve very well as “symmetry”.

That was all for the aesthetic principles. But it’s not all of the anime inspired stuff…

Does the font seem a bit familiar? Well that’s because it was inspired by the Toradora font, and its wavy looking exclamation mark with the star serving as a dot.

This was my work for the “custom font” we had to make.

Not to brag, but all of the things pictured here brought me the highest grade you can get in a Croatian school, and that is 5.

So yeah now you saw my attempts at trying to draw well. If you have similar stories of drawing anime stuff, I would love to read them in the comments!

Today is one of those days when I’m home alone. And when that is the case, I sometimes get to experiment in the kitchen. I search for some simple but cool recipes my skills and available ingredients would allow me to prepare.

And I love that proud feeling I have when the meal I make ends up with a great taste.

Today I wanted to make the ramune candies, which I’ve seen in 3-gatsu no Lion. They looked so easy to make, and so few ingredients were needed.

I bought cornstarch in the store. I thought that was the only ingredient needed that I didn’t have at home.

Sadly, that wasn’t the case. It turns out powdered sugar was also missing.

A shame, but I’ll make those ramunes soon. I’ll probably make them for Christmas.

But this wasn’t the first time I “tried” making something I’ve seen in anime…

My first cake

Maybe you noticed how much I love Toradora. I am posting about my Christmas rewatch of it afterall. And I’m proud to have Taiga as my twitter avatar.

Ryuuji Takasu is one of my favorite characters of all time. And one of his traits that I love is his love for cooking.

He cooks meals for himself, his mother and Taiga every day. He makes himself and Taiga lunch boxes.

Every time he makes food for someone, they are full of praise for it. Think back to that curry he made during the trip to Ami’s beach house.

Ryuuji’s love for cooking sort of made me want to get better at it myself.

And in the second ending sequence of Toradora, Ryuuji is preparing this beautiful looking orange cake.

Incidentally, today is day 17 of the Toradora Christmas rewatch, which means today is the day for the first episode in which this ending appears.

This time last year, when I rewatched Toradora for the first time, I thought I could try making that orange cake myself.

My father’s birthday is close to Christmas. Its just a couple of days after New Year’s day.

I ended up making that cake for his birthday. I felt so much hype and excitement just because I was making the same cake that appeared in Toradora.

For sure, it didn’t end up perfect. It didn’t look as beautiful as the one Ryuuji made. But just trying to make it was so worth it. I never thought I would enjoy making a cake as much as I enjoyed making one that day.

And the feedback I had from everyone that tried the cake made the day even better.

Just go and make those foods that you see your favorite anime characters prepare. I highly recommend doing it.

Feel free to share your anime related cooking stories in the comments! 😀