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Sticky Rice Balls and Pickled Plums with Shiso

Shiso leaves (a spicy herb that tastes like a cross between its basil and mint relatives) serves as part of this sophisticated Japanese-inspired first course or a light meal. The fruit-herb mixture, marinated in rice wine vinegar and spices, is nice in alternating bites with the rich lobster-and-avocado-filled sushi-rice balls.

  • Servings: 6
  • Yield: Makes 2 dozen

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2005

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups sushi rice
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 ounces cooked lobster meat, cut into 24 pieces
  • 1/2 avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut into 24 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • Pickled Plums With Shiso

Directions

  1. Cook rice according to package instructions. Transfer to a large bowl; set aside. Stir together vinegar, mirin, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour vinegar mixture over cooked rice. Stir rice mixture until it has cooled slightly.

  2. Form rice mixture into 1-inch balls using wet hands. Make an indentation in each ball with your thumb. Fill with a piece each of lobster and avocado. Cover with more rice to seal. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Transfer to a serving platter. Serve with pickled plums. Rice balls can be refrigerated, covered with plastic wrap, up to 5 hours. Before serving, let rice balls stand until they come to room temperature.

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