I LOVE onigiri. They are cute, portable, easy to make, and tasty! Don’t know what on earth I’m talking about? Keep reading below to learn more.
Onigiri are a traditional Japanese food. They are made by forming sticky white rice (the stuff you would use for sushi) into a triangle shape and often includes a filling. Onigiri date back to at least the 11th-century and writings from the 17th-century describe samurai carrying onigiri in bamboo sheaths as a quick lunch during war. Today they can be found in many supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan.
Those of us here in the States will probably have to resort to making our own though. You can use just about any filling so long as it isn’t too wet, otherwise the rice will fall apart. My favorite is this tuna soboro with ginger. Yum!
So I’ve been telling you a little about onigiri, but I haven’t shown you how to make it. So let’s get to it!
First start by cooking about a cup of “sushi” rice. The best way I’ve found to cook any and all rice is to cook it like pasta. Add WAY more water than you need, then once it is boiling, add in the rice. Cook until the rice is done, then strain off the extra water. Your rice will come out perfect every time.
Now gather your supplies. You will need:
Bowl of water (just big enough to dip your palms in)
cooked sushi rice
filling of choice
I also have a plate here to put the finished onigiri on.
Next, dip your hands in the water and shake of the excess. This is to keep the rice from sticking to your hands, but you don’t want them too wet or the rice will fall apart. Then, grab a small amount of rice and flatten it out in the palm of your hand. Don’t worry about grabbing too much or too little, you can easily break some off or add more if you need to.
See how my hands are just a bit wet? Only enough to have a shine to them.
Now plop about a teaspoon of filling in the center. You can adjust the amount so that is looks good to you.
I may or may not have eaten a spoonful of filling before getting to this step.
Now take some more rice and flatten it out a bit and put it on top of the filling. Use just enough to mostly cover things up.
It looks like a total mess at this point.
You are almost there! Now shape the filling until it looks all prettified. I wasn’t able to get a video of this part, but I will try and get one up soon.
Here’s what I had after about 10 minutes of work (honestly it probably wasn’t even that long).
A plate of cute tastiness!
At this point you can either warp them in nori or not. I choose to leave them unwrapped and just dive right in.
So there you go. These are super easy to make, are very filling, and delicious! I like to serve them for lunch with a bowl of miso soup (video recipe soon!) and a side salad.