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These savory, slightly tart rice balls are accented with homemade pickled radish — a perfect light bite!

If you’ve never savored a Japanese rice ball, known as onigiri, you’re about to enter a world of delicious simplicity. These easy-to-craft, portable and healthy little pouches can be made vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian or even carnivorous, and they’re an attractive and crowd-pleasing way to get your lunch on. Join Japanese writer, author and TV host Sonoko Sakai and discover onigiri her way. 

Ume plum vinegar is available at gourmet supermarkets, health food stores, and online. If you cannot find ume plum vinegar, use rice vinegar. The pickled radishes taste great by themselves and would make a nice side dish, or use the slices to garnish your onigiri, as I’ve done here. I use beet to dye the radish pink. You can omit that step.

Reprinted with permission from Rice Craft