ETA (08/23/2017) : Some additional notes on onigiri ideas added to bottom of post.
In these last couple of weeks, before school starts again, I’ve been in a frenzy of cooking.
I broke open the one kilo bag of frozen raw shrimp, from Costco, and made two different pasta dishes (I’ll post a picture of the second one soon) with home made semolina pasta. Sales on fresh fruit meant that I finally made another batch of raspberry curd so I could take some pictures. It’s hard to believe the last time I made raspberry curd was before I owned a camera. I made red chile pulled pork for tamales … and then changed my mind and made a vegetarian filling instead and froze away the rest of the pork.
The nigiri in this post had been planned for on the same weekend that I did the last bbq. In fact, I was going to grill a foil wrapped package of teriyaki basted salmon belly meat on the grill, for the onigiri, at the same time. And then I forgot the salmon in the fridge. So I had to bake it off in the oven. Instead of shaping the onigiri into the most commonly seen triangles, I made rice balls or ‘bombs’.
Bakudan Onigiri Platter
Two different ways of serving the rice balls
Instead of stuffing the salmon, or other seasoning, in the middle of the balls, it was stirred into half of the hot rice. Wrapping the rice balls in a half sheet of nori keeps it moist longer. For including in your bento/lunch bag, wrap the rice ball up tightly in food/saran wrap. Biting into the neat package can be a wonderful surprise if you’ve made an assortment.
And for something even simpler, a couple of tablespoons of furikake (rice seasoning or topping) were stirring into the other half of the rice.
Making the Rice Balls:
1 cup of raw sushi rice, cooked with 1/2 tsp of salt
6-8 half sheets of nori
90-100 gm cooked salmon, flaked for ver. 1
2 large shiso leaves, julienned for ver. 1
2 tbsp furikake (rice seasoning) for ver. 2
tobiko (fish roe)
bonito flakes, moistened with some soy sauce
The cooked rice was divided into two halves and the salmon (and julienned shiso leaves) and furikake were stirred into each respective portion. The salmon portion was divided into 4 larger rice balls as the salmon added a lot of bulk, while the furikake half only made 3 somewhat smaller rice balls.
Various Types of Onigiri/Omosubi
1. Filled onigiri
fish – salmon (sake), tuna, shaved bonito moistened with soy sauce (okaka), shrimp
umeboshi (pickled plums)
tsukudani style kombu (sheets cooked with soy sauce and mirin until tender, shredded and tucked into rice ball)
meat – Japanese friend chicken (karaage) or regular friend chicken ***
miso glazed baked eggplant
fish roe – tobiko (flying fish), tarako (salted sac of cod roe) and mentaiko (spicy sac of cod roe), ikura salmon
*** very perishable, transport refrigerated or on ice packs
2. Mixed rice
sushi and brown rice
a) Stir the flavourings into the rice after it is cooked
furikake (nori seaweed and egg, ume (pickled plum), shiso, shrimp, and dried fish)
shredded baked, fried or smoked fish
veggies ie sauteed onion, shaved carrot, edamame, green onion
b) Cook along with the rice
julienned gobo (Japanese root vegetable)
hijiki (Japanese dried seaweed)
dashi kombu/soy sauce/sake/sugar
hockey puck – dimple and fill then serve filling side up
cylinder shape or tawara (bale of hay)
5. Grilled (Yaki) – brushed and grilled ** Usually NOT filled
nori is traditional
takana mustard greens
tororo kombu kelp
salted green shiso
parcooked bacon and then grilled
sesame seeds or salted sesame seeds (black is more striking)
ground shiso leaves