Delicious, portable and darn right easy to make, these little onigiri are perfect for lunch, picnics or a quick late night snack! I first discovered these at Sanko in Toronto but they only have them on Saturday in the afternoon and they go quick! Later I found them at PAT Central on Bloor and then T&T in Vancouver. At about $2 each, they are super affordable and delicious. But why not make them yourself?
You can stuff these little balls with anything your heart desires even left overs! I made a few varieties with things I found in my fridge so here’s the recipe for that.
What you need!
10 cups of cooked sushi rice (see how to season rice here)
3/4 cup raw fresh tuna belly (sushi-grade)
3/4 lb raw fresh pacific salmon (sushi-grade)
1 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Chili and Garlic Sauce
1 1/2 tbsp chopped green onion
1 1/2 tbsp Kewpie mayo
1/4 cup thinly sliced cucumber
1/4 lb bbq eel
What to do!
1. Prepare all your ingredients first! Chop ’em, dice ’em, whatever you need to get ’em ready to make them a tasty filling.
Negitoro – classic tuna filling: chop tuna into little bits, mix with green onion and mayo
Spicy Salmon – cut your salmon into little tidbits, mix with chili garlic sauce
Mix and match! Eel with cucumber, tuna belly with cucumbers…any combo you like!
2. Time to assemble! You can form these rice balls with your hands if you keep ’em wet so it doesn’t stick, but I like to use a handy mold I bought at Daiso ($2 bucks and way less messy!). Make sure your mold is a bit wet so the rice doesn’t stick. Start by filling one side with rice with a little dent in the middle so the filling has somewhere cozy to sit. Press it down with wet hands to help it pack down a little. Spread the filling out but don’t let it touch the sides.
3. Fill the other half with rice, pat down and squeeze together. You might need some practice to how much rice is perfect, too little and it won’t stay together, too much and it’ll squish out the sides and be messy.
Another pic with different filling.
4. Un-mold carefully and set aside. It is ok to keep it in the fridge, keeping it chilled will actually firm them up a bit, but don’t do it for too long uncovered or the rice will dry up and get hard.
5. Cut strips of nori (sushi seaweed paper) so that it’s slightly smaller than one of the sides of the triangle. For my mold, it was about 3 strips per sheet.
6. Time to eat! Take the nori sheet that you cut and wrap it around one of the flat sides of the triangle. The nori keeps your fingers from getting sticky! If you want to save these for later, wrap the rice balls in saran wrap individually and pack the nori separate so it stays crisp. Enjoy! Oh and this recipe made about 7 rice balls but these puppies are bigger than the ones you see in the stores.