Onigirazu

July 7, 2017

Can I just share how June was a crazy clusterf*** of some of my highest highs and lowest lows? Preparing for the AutoCAD film had spread me into one hot mess. I was busting hours through a stretch of a month for just a minute and 30 seconds of glorious attention… and those weeks of preparation were some of the most chaotic days of my life. The AutoCAD film was an interview, and I tried to memorize the script  in Japanese (because we’d hoped to shoot in a Japanese version as well), I had to fix drawings, exfoliate my face nightly, refrain from drinking, and clean my home/organize and iron all possible outfits and prepare makeup, clean up the kitchen (I used very rarely), prepare a ton of matcha cookie dough 1/2 the batch frozen and 1/2 the batch baked.. although I’ve made matcha cookies for over 10 years, these constantly kept coming out as fails (bad color/too sweet/tasted poopy)

The day of the film: I worked for a few hours,  but really couldn’t focus on any of the cladding drawings I was supposed to finish. By 12:15, I ran to my office’s library for our receptionist to do my makeup. By 1PM, I drove from my office to my home to prep scenes (roll out matcha cookie dough onto baking sheets, change my outfit, open AutoCAD files) By 2PM, I welcomed AutoCAD and various film crew members into the home. They flew in from Denver, San Francisco, or drove up from Orange County.

The film crew started setting up their giant ass cameras/props/lighting equipment, while one hooked up a headset and wired it all up my shirt and neatly tucked it under my collar. While filming, I had a giant ass light and reflector to my left, one huge side camera, and one camera in my face. My yoga teacher (also an actress) advised me to pretend the camera is a cute sweet dog that you’re speaking to so that I wouldn’t be overwhelmed. Now, I don’t know about you, but a giant ass black camera with a film mob behind seriously does not look like a cute puppy or feel like any sweet setting. For the B-roll, I had to tell them what I was doing in advance (I’m rolling the cookie dough, I’m going to bake the cookies, etc) We wanted to shoot my interview scenes at Maru Coffee, and after driving there, it was filled with guests. I failed to tell them that I needed it completely empty. So we had to drive back….. and set everything back up again. They quickly filmed me standing in the kitchen answering questions, and me diagramming/playing with my CAD kitchen. Yes, the film (scheduled for public release) was so damn insane that I couldn’t even say my name nor The Chef Charette in a calm, confident voice tone.

After weeks of chaotic prep (detoxing with a strict NO DRINKING rule, coordinating with the director, AutoCAD team, makeup artist + more than average work out routines, and trying my best to stay loyal to my architecture team),  and a strict deadline of  6 PM to have the team cleared out and kitchen cleaned out, I was extremely burnt out…. within the next week, I realized I had to move out of my home because of various issues. Thank God I worked at USC’s Woodshop and Japan + friends taught me how to organize and pack efficiently, because I recruited a handful of dandy architecture friends to help disassemble certain furniture they’re specialized more in, and we were able to disassemble all my furniture and carry them out to two locations within one day.

SO BAH. here’s a simple Onigirazu recipe. It’s not a riceball, nor a sandwich. It’s an onigi-razu. おにぎらず。Basically, a rice ball in the happy form of a sandwich. Knock yourself out and fill whatever ingredients you wish in between the two layers of rice. So. damn. good. and perfect for school and/or work.

 

ONIGIRAZU

Ingredients

Preparation Time
10 min.
Cooking Time
30 min.
Ready In
10 min.
Service Size
4
  • 4 sheets nori or dried seaweed
  • 4 C cooked short grain rice
  • 1 C tsukemono (your choice of Japanese pickled vegetables)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 lb salmon (or other cooked fish/meat)
  • 1/4 C sesame seeds or furikake (optional)

Special Equipment

Directions

Step 1.

Cook 2 C short grain rice with 4 C water.

Step 2.

Add 1/4 C sushi vinegar and allow it to cool for 30 minutes.

Step 3.

Place 4″ x 8″ nori sheet on a cutting board or flat working surface with the shiny side down.

Step 4.

Wet your hands (keep a small bowl of water handy to wet your hands) and grab a handful of rice. Place it on the left side of the sheet  and using your hands, form it into a compact square.

Step 5.

Place a small handful of desired  ingredients on top of the rice and spread it out as evenly as possible. Add another 1/4″ layer of rice and spread over to cover all of the ingredients.

Step 6.

Once you are done with your stack, enclose it with seaweed and turn it over until it the roll is covered. Cut it in half with a sharp knife and flip over. Repeat for remaining 3 sheets.

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