At Readercon two weekends ago, I was happily munching on my home-made O-nigiri rice balls, but nobody believed that they I had made them myself. In fact, it’s pretty easy to make the exact replicas of those tasty treats found in 7-11 stores all over Japan, ii kibun! But you do need at least two items not usually found in your typical Asian grocery: rice ball molds, and specialized nori seaweed wrappers with red pull strings. You will see what these look like in the instructions below. (Note: you can also mold the triangular rice balls with your hands if you don’t have a mold, and you can use regular nori sheets to wrap them, but they should be eaten immediately.) These instructions will show you how to make the portable, plastic wrapped rice balls that keep the nori sheets fresh until you eat them…enjoy! step one: cook rice and let it cool. typically I just cook extra rice and leave it tightly covered overnight, then use it the next morning to make rice balls. you need about 1 to 1.5 cups of cooked rice for each rice ball. stir about 1 tsp of sesame oil into the rice, fluffing it up a bit. the oil keeps the rice from sticking to the sides of the mold. optional: stir into the rice a small amount of flavoring, like roasted sesame seeds with nori bits and bonito powder. this just adds a little interest and zest to the rice.