Onigiri are Japanese stuffed rice balls, usually pressed into a triangular in shape with a number of filling options like cooked salmon, raw salmon or tuna, canned tuna or mushrooms to name a few. I always have leftover roasted salmon so I decided to make them using that although I can’t wait to try making them with a tuna tartare mixture!
They make the perfect snack, compact, portable and filling. So let’s make them!
A few tricks to remember:
1) Before cooking your rice, rinse, rinse and rinse again. You want to eliminate as much excess starch as possible so that the grains remain nice and separated when cooked. (otherwise it’ll resemble risotto lol)
2) When forming & stuffing your rice patties, keep a small bowl of warm water nearby to moisten your hands periodically otherwise the rice will stick to your hands making the task impossible and drive you insane 😉
I hope you try this recipe and love it!
Cooked Salmon Filling:
- 1 pound (approx) Cooked Salmon mashed with a fork
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise Preferably Kewpie
- 3 tablespoons Sriracha
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/4 cup green onions thinly sliced
- 2 cups sushi rice rinsed well
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- avocado optional
- vegetable oil for frying
- Japanese barbecue sauce (recipe included)
- nori sheets to wrap the bottom of the triangle
Japanese BBQ Sauce:
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 clove garlic grated or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- MAKE THE SUSHI RICE
- Rinse the sushi rice for a minute or two until the water runs clear. If you have time, soak it in water for 15 minutes prior to rinsing.
- Add 3 cups of water to a pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the salt and rice and once boiling, lower the heat and cover to simmer for 20 minutes. After, turn off the heat but leave covered for 10 more minutes. Then fluff it up.
- In a small bowl, add the rice vinegar, granulated sugar, and sesame oil. Microwave for 30 seconds or quickly warm it up in a pot just so the sugar dissolves.
- Pour this over the rice and mix so that each grain of rice is coated evenly. It should be very sticky! Set aside.
- MAKE THE SALMON MIXTURE
- In a bowl, mash the salmon with a fork and add the mayonnaise, sriracha, soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, and sliced green onions. Combine until everything is evenly distributed.
- Using hands dipped in water, shape about 1/4 cup of rice into a small triangle on a piece of saran wrap.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of salmon filling to the center. Cover with rice on top in the shape of a triangle. You can also add thinly sliced avocado inside. Wrap a piece of nori along the bottom.
- Wrap each onigiri with tightly with plastic wrap, preserving the triangle shape. Repeat with the rest of the rice and salmon.
- OPTIONAL STEP: To make this "yaki" style (which means grilled in Japanese), add a splash of oil to a pan. Brush each onigiri with Japanese BBQ sauce and add onigiri to the pan and fry on each side for 3 minutes until crispy and golden and BBQ sauce has caramelized.
- Enjoy with spicy mayo (sriracha & mayo + optional: rice vinegar) or chili oil and more Japanese BBQ sauce!
Make Tonkatsu Sauce (BBQ sauce)
- In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients until fully incorporated and smooth.