Onigiri is the most popular convenience store food in Japan and also a popular bento filling. There are so many different variations that you can buy and make. They are so easy to make and such a convenient food to pack for lunch for a busy day at work or school because they can be eaten on the go!
Onigiri means “mould rice into a round or triangle shape by hand”. There is also something similar to onigiri, called “Onigirazu“, which means moulding is not required; so onigirazu is a bit more like a rice sandwich. You can also make Yaki Onigiri, which is onigiri that has been grilled.
You can add different fillings to onigiri, my daughter’s favourite is cooked salmon. The two ingredients I used for this recipe are two of the common and basic fillings: Umeboshi, which is a salty pickled plum, and Okaka, which is soy sauce flavoured bonito flakes. My grandma used to have a “Nankou Ume” tree, which is a type of Japanese plum, and I used to help her harvest the plums and then she would make umeboshi with them. So my grandma usually made umeboshi onigiri for all of us. You can be as creative as you like and find your favourite fillings. I hope you enjoy this recipe!
- 2 cups of cooked rice
- 1 seeded umeboshi (pickled plum)
- 10 g of bonito flakes
- ¼ tsp soy sauce
- ¼ mirin
- 2 small nori (seaweed) sheets
- Place some saran wrap onto a bench or plate.
- Place half a cup of cooked rice over the centre of the cling wrap.
- Put the umeboshi on the centre of the rice then top with another half cup of rice.
- Wrap the saran wrap over the rice and squeeze and mould the rice into a triangle shape with your hands.
- Remove the cling wrap and cover the bottom of the rice triangle with a nori sheet and set aside.
- Combine the bonito flakes, soy sauce, and mirin in a small bowl.
- Repeat the same steps as above to make an onigiri with the bonito flake filling.