March 03, 2009

Onigiri (Omusubi)

A few weeks ago, my friend Christine and I went to an awesome little restaurant where we ate triangular rice "sandwiches." Basically, they were rice, stuffed with a filling, wrapped in nori. I was instantly in love. These are a great alternative to normal bread sandwiches. Healthy, portable little pockets of goodness!

I went out and bought a mold to make these little wonders, and started to play around with recipes. You can shape the rice in your hands, but it's a bit trickier. Here is my version of onigiri, but you can use any filling that sounds good to you.

-2 cups of cooked, sticky brown rice
-1/4 t. salt
-1 t. rice vinegar
-1/2 t. sesame oil
-1/2 t. agave nectar
-teriyaki flavored baked tofu (I used the Trader Joe's brand)
-sheets of nori

1. Put the rice in a mixing bowl. Add the salt, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and agave nectar, and mix gently.
2. Place a sheet of nori on a plate. Place the mold on the middle of the nori, scoop some of the rice into the mold and press it flat, so it fills about 1/3 of the mold. Cut the baked tofu into thin strips, and place over the pressed rice in the mold. Scoop more rice over the tofu, and press down. Leaving the press on the rice, pull the mold off the rice, leaving a perfect triangle. (If shaping the rice with your hands, wet your hands well before shaping. The rice will stick to you if you don't!)
3. Fold the nori over the rice, pressing gently so that the nori sticks to the rice. If there is extra nori that won't stick, just wet your hands and press the nori together.

To store, wrap the onigiri tightly in plastic wrap, so that the rice doesn't dry out.

Don't be shy to try other fillings, or to be creative with the rice seasonings. Maybe some cumin in the rice, and black beans for the filling, or use fresh vegetables for a healthy filling.


Christine said...

Oh man, I'm glad you bought a rice mold and tried it! I wish I liked rice more, so I'd be more inclined to try these (rice is just...kinda meh to me). Though I think I read somewhere you could make these into balls using your hands (probably couldn't use seaweed then), so maybe I'll try that someday.

p.s. I typed "seeweed" at

Millie said...

Wow that looks good. I will try it. I have a sweet rice pie recipe that belonged to my 95 yr. old Grandma that is a delicious. I will post her recipe on my vegan dining blog soon. Thanks.