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Honey Ginger Chicken Soboro Onigiri

Honey Ginger Chicken Soboro

Makes 9 portions as a stuffing (2 tablespoons each)

8 ounces ground chicken
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons mirin
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger

1. Put all of the ingredients in a skillet and stir together, separating the clumps of meat as you mix. Place the skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring the meat as it cooks so that it continues to break down into smaller bits.

2. Continue cooking and stirring until almost the meat is cooked and almost all of the liquid is gone (about 5 1/2 minutes). Remove the skillet from the heat and let the chicken cool to room temperature. Divide the cooled chicken into 2 tablespoon amounts and place in ziploc bags, and refrigerate or freeze, or use to make onigiri.

3. The chicken will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for 1 month.

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Honey Ginger Chicken Soboro Onigiri

Makes 4 onigiri

3 cups cooked Japanese white rice, freshly cooked and hot
1 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
4 portions (8 tablespoons) honey ginger chicken soboro filling

1. Place the rice in a large, shallow bowl and sprinkle with the salt evenly over it. Using a rice paddle or broad wooden spatula, toss lightly to mix the salt into the rice, being careful not to mash the rice. It is important to salt the rice while it is still hot, because the salt acts as a preservative.

2. Add the honey ginger chicken soboro and toss to mix it evenly with the rice.

3. Line a small bowl with plastic wrap. Divide the rice into 4 portions. Put 1 portion of the rice into the plastic wrap-lined bowl. Gather the ends of the plastic wrap around the rice and twist them tight.

4. Shape the rice into a round shape, using gentle pressure to mold the rice. Remove the rice from the plastic. Repeat with the remaining rice. Let the onigiri cool and then serve or pack into a bento. The onigiri will keep fresh at room temperature for 6 hours.