Onigiri is Japanese rice, rolled into various shapes with various fillings. The history of onigiri is very fascinating, one I definitely want to share. These originated long before chopsticks became common, hence, rice was rolled into ball-shape to make it easier to eat. Onigiri became popular among warriors; they would wrap them in bamboo and carry it around easily for a quick lunch. And presently, onigiri is commonly placed in picnic lunches. You can also find these in a child’s bento box as well as an office worker’s tiffin. Having received a lot of western marketing you can now find Onigiri easily in convenience stores and other supermarkets globally.
Onigiri, unlike sushi is made with plain rice that requires no flavouring or fermentation and that is precisely why it topped sushi on my list of “easy eats”. Onigiri is fun food – there are no set rules on the shape, filling or the top coat. In this post, I have made Onigiri with and without a mold. I have made them round and into triangles. I have also opted for no sea-weed wrap. Feel free to choose whatever suits you best. The one and only rule for Onigiri is to use Japanese glutinous rice so that the rice sticks together easy.
Ingredients :- (6 and more depending on the shapes you choose)
•* 2 cups Japanese rice (Japonica rice)
• 4 cups water
• 70gms canned tuna
• 2-3 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
• 1 tbsp Japanese soya sauce (shoyu)
• Finely chopped spring onions
• 1 plate toasted white sesame seeds
1. In a rice cooker, cook rice with the ratio of 1 cup rice to 1 cup water. (Refer to your rice pack, some may differ.)
2. Remove rice from the cooker; let it cool down a little.
3. Drain out the water/oil from the tuna can.
4. In a bowl, put in tuna chunks and mash it using a fork. To this, add mayonnaise, shoyu and spring onions. Mix well.
5. Cut out a clean cling film into the size of approximately 20cmx15cm.
6. With a rice paddle, scoop rice and spread it out evenly on the cling film.
7. Take 1 big tablespoon full of tuna mixture and place in the centre of the rice.
8. Scoop another paddle full of rice and top it over the tuna (like a sandwich).
9. Take one end of the cling film and roll the rice tightly into a circular/oval shape. Let it sit for a minute.
10. Unwrap the now formed rice roll and turn it over in a plate of toasted sesame seeds. (If you like your onigiri a bit salty, sprinkle some salt into the sesame seeds before rolling rice in it).
11. Cut into sushi like pieces. Serve.
* An easy alternative is to use ready molds which are easily available in supermarkets. Simply use the molds to shape the rice – for instance mine are Triangular – then press this down in the plate of sesame seeds. Flip to cover all sides. Wrap with a cling film to keep the rice together and fresh. (This has become my children’s usual afterschool snack and sometimes with a different filling, their breakfast on the go)