Bites of Joy

lectuer & demonstration

bites of joy


Date & Time

Friday, October 16, 5:30pm (PDT)

Click here to watch this program on YouTube

It’s World Food Day! Come celebrate with JFLA as we will be hosting an event once again supporting the Onigiri Action campaign, presented by TABLE FOR TWO. This year, we hope to bring you bites of fun and joy by presenting new ideas for onigiri from informative and entertaining presenters. 

Mr. Tadao Koike, a certified Five Star Rice Meister and the third-generation owner of Koike Rice Store, will join us from Harajuku, Tokyo. Mr. Koike will talk about varieties of Japanese rice and its flavors as well as tips on how to cook tasty rice. 

Following his lecture, Ms. Debra Samuel, cookbook author and cooking teacher, will demonstrate how to make 2 kinds of delicious onigiri rice balls using ingredients that are readily available. You are welcome to make these onigiri by following her instructions and then take photos of your own onigiri.
*Please see the ingredients and material list below if you would like to participate.* 

You will also have an opportunity to be a part of the campaign by posting your onigiri photos on the campaign website or through your social media with hashtag, #OnigiriAction during the event! Each and every post that you make will help donate 5 school meals to children in need around the world.  


About speakers:

Tadao Koike was born in 1971 in Harajuku, Tokyo. He grew up in Harajuku and attended schools in the area. From a very young age, he regularly helped his family business, which was called Koike Rice Store. He learned all sorts of skills in how to run his own business. After he graduated from Meiji University, he was employed by a publishing company as an editor. Afterwards, he became certified as a Labor and Social Security Attorney and then worked at a human resource consulting firm.  In 2006, his father fell ill and he took over the family business and became the third-generation owner of Koike Rice Store. In 2013, he acquired the certification for Five-Star Rice Meister. He is a member of Tokyo Gohanku, a group of rice professionals who energetically promote wonderful aspects about rice through various fun and educational events. Tadao Koike has made numerous appearances on TV, radio, newspapers, online media, and constantly searching new and enjoyable ways to introduce rice. Recently, he has been working closely with rice producers across Japan to provide marketing advice and industry planning. 



Debra Samuels leads the program content and curriculum development of TABLE FOR TWO USA’s Japanese inspired food education program, “Wa-Shokuiku -Learn. Cook. Eat Japanese!”. She was a food writer and contributor to the Food Section of The Boston Globe and has authored two cookbooks: “My Japanese Table,” and “The Korean Table.” Samuels has curated two exhibits, “Obento and Built Space:Japanese Boxed Lunch and Architecture,” at the Boston Architectural College (2015) and “Objects of Use and Beauty: Design and Craft in Japanese Culinary Tools,”at the Fuller Craft Museum (2018).  She has lived in Japan for 12 years cumulatively and specializes in Japanese cuisine. She travels around the country and abroad teaching hands on workshops on obento, the Japanese lunchbox.








*Ingredients & material list
Onigiri base
2 cups cooked short or medium grain rice
1 sheet roasted seaweed (yakinori)
Tuna Mayo Onigiri 
1 5-ounce can Tuna drained 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 teaspoon soy sauce
Combine all in a bowl and mix thoroughly
Gochiso Onigiri (Gourmet Onigiri) 
Choose an ingredient from each category to make your combination. Please have the ingredients of your choice prepared and in separate bowls.
A.    1 egg of scrambled egg, or ¼ cup corn
B.    2 smoked salmon slices, or 4 medium size cooked shrimp, or ¼ cup diced ham
C.    1 finely chopped scallion, or 2 tablespoons peas, or ¼ cup arugula
D.    ¼ cup diced cheddar cheese, or 1 sliced cheese, or ¼ cup shredded cheese

Furikake (Rice Sprinkles)
1 sheet of roasted seaweed, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seed (optional)

3 bowls for mixing, plastic wrap, 2 small custard-size cups (for magic rice ball), cutting board, knife, mixing spoon/rice paddle, small skillet
Find more about Onigiri Action, fun onigiri masks, zoom background and more at

This event is co-organized with TABLE FOR TWO USA

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