I can’t tell you how excited I am to be sharing my favorite sandwich recipe with you today. I came across these “on the go snacks” called onigiri in Japan last year when we climbed Mt Fuji. Our guide and translator, Luke, bought a few of these triangle shaped rice filled sandwiches at the 7 Eleven before our climb (yes they have 7 Eleven in Japan!). He stuffed about 5 of them into his bag to eat at various times during the hike. I was so curious to know what these little triangles of nori contained, so I had him translate the 10 different versions on the shelf. While some of them were certainly appetizing and delicious, like umeboshi (pickled plum), some were not and down right scary! Chopped up hot dogs? I guess it was 7 Eleven after all…
I’ve taken the mystery out of these little creations. If filled with the right contents, they are so nutritious (yeah for sea vegetables and brown rice!) and are perfect to take to work or pack in your children’s lunch box. I think kids would love these, especially if they already love sushi.
Onigiri has become a staple in my house and I have a feeling they might become a staple in yours too. I really hope these go mainstream here in the US. It’s about time we had a quick sandwich that wasn’t filled with processed meat. What if Subway started carrying these? Could you even imagine?
To make these little beauties it doesn’t take much skill, but does require a triangle mold. I used a kit available online here …it comes with a triangle mold, detailed instructions and special nori wrappers that are made so the rice doesn’t touch the nori until you unwrap it. It’s brilliant how the wrappers keep the nori from getting soggy and also keeps them fresh.
When you run out of wrappers (because you’ll want to make these every week like me!) you can get more nori refills online here.
The type of rice you use is so important – you must choose a short grain japanese rice that will hold together nicely. I like Tru Roots Haiga Rice because it has the texture and taste of japanese white rice but is actually whole grain…it cooks in 15 mins! Amazing, right?
I can’t wait to hear back from everyone who tries the recipe!
- 1 cup Haiga or Japanese short grain brown rice uncooked
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp japanese cooking wine or mirin
- 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar or evaporated cane juice
- 2 tbsp black toasted sesame seeds
- Onigiri wrappers (+ mold for forming triangles)
- Filling Option 1:
- ½ cup cooked red kidney beans
- 2 carrots diced small
- ½ red pepper diced small
- 1 avocado diced
- 1 large pickle diced small
- Filling Option 2:
- 1 sweet potato cooked and diced with skin removed
- 3 scallions diced
- ¼ cup goat cheese
- Filling Option 3:
- 1 cucumber diced
- 1 avocado diced
- hot sauce to taste or garlic mayo
- Filling Option 4:
- 1 cup cole slaw
- Filling Option 5:
- 1 cup kimchi
- Filling Option 6:
- ⅓ cup fig jam
- ½ cup goat cheese
- 1 cup diced arugula
- Rinse rice with filtered water, and cook to package instructions – note: Haiga rice only takes 15 mins to cook
- While rice is cooking, combine vinegar, mirin, sugar
- Stir vinegar mixture in cooked rice
- Add sesame seeds and fluff
- Once rice has cooled, place ¼ cup rice in mold on top of seaweed wrap, press, add fillings of your choice, and then another ¼ cup rice and press again tightly making a compact triangle
- Wrap according to Onigri wrap directions, following the numbers and seal with two stickers
Thank you Luke for taking us up the mountain and for inspiring me to make onigiri back home….I can’t wait to do the “udon noddle” yoga pose with you on top of Mt. Fuji again one day
P.S. If you know friends or family who could use a delicious and nutritious pre-packaged lunch to take to school or work, please share this post with them.
P.S. If you’ve got other good combination ideas – please share with me and others!