Make 2 onigiri (rice balls) with a piece of processed cheese in the center. Use a fairly small amount of rice!
Wrap the pork slices around each rice ball, about 2 slices per ball; the first slice in one direction, then the second slice perpendicular to it. The meat should cover the rice completely.
Squeeze the meat covered rice balls with your hands to shape and season with salt and pepper. Put a little flour in a plastic bag, put in the balls and shake to coat with flour.
Heat oil in a frying pan, and pan fry the onigiri one side at a time. Don't roll around. Turn from side to side to brown all over.
When the meat is cooked, add mirin and soy sauce to the pan and coat the meat well.
You can change the size and make bear shaped onigiri and other characters!
I made Jackie from "The Bear School" (a popular children's book series). I used a quartered piece of cheese for the ears.
This was featured on Charaben Stadium, a TV show about character bentos.
I was able to make 16 meat wrapped onigiri with 350 yen worth of thinly sliced shabu shabu pork (pork shoulder). I used 2 rice cooker cups' worth of rice. So much better to make these at home!
Story Behind this Recipe
I wanted to make hearty and filling onigiri that would be satisfying even when there aren't a lot of side dishes in the bento box.
If you roll the meat wrapped rice balls around while the meat is uncooked it will fall off, so cook it one section at a time. When all sides are browned, it's ok to roll them around. If you clean the frying pan with paper towels once the meat is cooked before adding the flavoring ingredients, the rice balls won't burn so easily.