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Surprise Sticky Rice Sandwiches

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    These Japanese onigiri rice triangles can be filled with anything—peanut butter and jelly, leftover chicken, sustainable canned salmon, or fresh fruit. Make in advance and refrigerate overnight. For a recess snack, shape onigiri into 1 1/2 in (4 cm) balls instead of palm-sized triangles. Pack two different kinds for lunch so the flavours are a surprise.

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    2 cups (500 mL) sushi rice
    2 cups (500 mL) cold water, plus more for rinsing 
    1/4 cup (60 mL) + 2 Tbsp (30 mL) unseasoned rice vinegar
    1 Tbsp (15 mL) organic cane sugar
    3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt
    2 Tbsp (30 mL) water

    Fillings

    1/2 cup (125 mL) cooked chicken or sustainable canned tuna or salmon mixed with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce
    1 1/2 Tbsp (22 mL) peanut butter (or sunflower butter) and 1 1/2 Tbsp (22 mL) jelly
    3 packed Tbsp (45 mL) diced dried fruit (prunes, figs, apricots) or fresh fruit (grapes, plums, peaches)

    Place sushi rice in medium pot. Add water to cover by about 1 in (2.5 cm). Swirl rice with your hand until water is cloudy, then drain and repeat the soaking, swirling, and draining process 2 more times. Use fine-meshed sieve to catch escaping grains when draining.

    Add 2 cups (500 mL) cold water to drained rice. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once simmering, cover pot and reduce heat to low for 15 minutes. Then reduce heat to its lowest point for 5 minutes more. Remove from heat but leave covered for 10 minutes.

    After 10 minutes, combine 1/4 cup (60 mL) rice vinegar with sugar and salt, mixing to dissolve, and slowly drizzle over rice while gently stirring with spatula to combine. Let cool for at least 5 minutes.

    Combine remaining 2 Tbsp (30 mL) rice vinegar and 2 Tbsp (30 mL) water in shallow bowl and coat your palms so they don’t stick to the rice. Scoop a scant 1/2 cup (125 mL) rice into one hand. Make a shallow well in the rice for filling. Place 2 tsp (10 mL) of your filling of choice inside, pressing so it’s flat with the rice. Shape rice around filling to seal. Cup both hands and squeeze rice into approximate shape of a triangle or ball (a ball is easier). Press just hard enough so the triangle (or ball) doesn’t fall apart. Repeat with remaining rice and fillings, re-soaking hands in vinegar water each time.

    Makes 6 onigiri triangles and 4 to 6 balls.

    Each peanut butter and jelly rice triangle contains: 206 calories: 4 g protein; 2 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 43 g total carbohydrates (3 g sugars, 1 g fibre); 226 mg sodium

    source: "Build a Better Lunch", alive #383, September 2014

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    Surprise Sticky Rice Sandwiches

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