Onigiri (pronounced oh-nee-gee-ree) is a delicious snack at any time of the day and can be customised to be vegetarian very easily. It’s a great portable snack too and works very well for a breakfast on the run!

Onigiri is a ‘rice ball’ (even though it’s triangular in shape!) that mostly has a savoury filling and is wrapped in nori (seaweed). Some of the common fillers are salmon, tuna and mayonnaise, seasoned kelp, spicy cod roe and umeboshi  (pickled Japanese plum) – the choices are endless! This recipe is for a salmon filled onigiri – you can shape onigiri by hand (using cling film to stop it sticking to your hands) or you can use a handy onigiri mould to make things easier and get that perfect triangle.

Ingredients (makes 4 onigiri):

For the rice:

  • 2 cups (rice measuring cup) short or medium grain white rice
  • Water to fill to water level 2 for White Rice

For Seasoning cooked rice

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

For Filling:

  • 115g salmon fillet (to be grilled or baked)
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt

For Wrap (optional):

  • 4 sheets nori seaweed, cut into 10cm x 5cm each

Method

  1. Cook white rice in your Zojirushi rice cooker
  2. When rice completes cooking, transfer the rice to another bowl, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of salt and gently fluff with the rice spatula. Set aside.
  3. Place salmon filet on a paper towel and sprinkle sea salt on the surface. Let it rest for 5 minutes. If baking in the oven, pre-heat to 230ºC (450ºF)
  4. Grill salmon or bake in oven for 5 minutes (or until well done). Transfer the cooked salmon to a bowl and remove any bones and skin. Break into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
  5. Open the onigiri mould and fill around half the mould with rice. Place a quarter of the salmon into the middle of the onigiri and then fill around and on top of the salmon with more rice.
  6. Tightly close the lid and lightly squeeze the onigiri to make sure the rice is tight. It should be firm so it does not fall apart, but the rice should remain fluffy and not smashed.
  7. Once happy, turn the onigiri out, take a nori sheet and wrap the bottom of the onigiri. If you love your nori, you can even wrap the whole onigiri in a nori sheet.
  8. Repeat steps 5-7 to make additional onigiri
  9. Enjoy your onigiri snack!