If you've never tried onigiri, I think you're missing out. They're fun, tasty, versatile and highly portable. Recently, I've developed a weekly appointment that brings me past a Japanese market on the way home. In the front, where many people grab a quick lunch to go, is a counter full of onigiri. Even on my limited budget, they're affordable. I also stop here on the way home from donating blood across the street. I find them much more restorative than a small bottle of cranberry juice and a bag of chips.
My favorite fillings are mentaiko, seasoned egg, or bonito flakes. I don't have any mentaiko at home, but now that I can get eggs cheaply at Trader Joe's, I suddenly had an excuse to try to perfect a seasoned egg to my satisfaction (here's a famous example, which I've been tweaking).
So, I marinated some eggs last night. This afternoon, I put a cup of rice in the cooker and then got to work on the rest of the fillings. I also made a spicy tuna salad using the following:
These were all mixed in a bowl and set aside.
For the bonito filling, I used one small packet of bonito flakes, a bit of soy sauce, and about a quarter teaspoon of snipped green onions (I usually use scissors to deal with green onions), and stirred all this together.
Then I waited for the rice and tried to find the right name for a character in a dystopian novel I'm writing.
Just One Cookbook's recipe has the onigiri shaped by hand, which is what I did with the egg, but for the others, I couldn't resist buying some molds. I also pulled out my silicone pastry board. My setup looked like this (out of picture is some kosher salt for my hands):
Using the molds was easy enough. Fill halfway with rice, add filling, keeping it to the center, add more rice, press. The onigiri I planned to eat right away were popped out of the mold onto some nori. The ones that I'd be eating later, got wrapped with plastic and will have the nori wrapped around them later. It would get too soggy if it sat overnight.
I need practice with the egg, I started falling apart when I ate it, but it was still delicious. I think next time I will let a bit more of the marinade into the rice. There was a side of sliced cucumbers with shichimi togarashi, and a small glass of sake.
One cup dry rice made two of the large triangles, two of the small triangles, and wrapped one egg. I will double the amount of rice I make next time because there's a lot of the spicy tuna filling left. I may be making more this weekend, or it may be eaten with sesame crackers.
Do you like onigiri? What do you like in them?