Made with rice, salt and toasted nori seaweed, this
is basic. Recipes for 2 types of filling (smoked salmon flakes with roasted sesame seeds, and fresh peas and umeboshi) are given separately, and can be prepared while the rice is cooking. You can also come up with your own variations. To keep the rice from sticking to your hands, wet your hands with salt water (1 teaspoon salt dissolved in 1 cup water).
2 cups white short-grain rice, such as Koshihikari or California rice, preferably new crop
2 1/2 cups of water (or follow rice cooker manufacturer's instructions)
Salt water (see note above)
3 sheets of toasted nori seaweed
Fillings, as desired (see attached recipes)
Roasted sesame seeds
the rice first. Cook the rice with the measured 2½ cups water, or cook according to the manufacturer's instructions.
2. Cut each sheet
in half, crosswise, to be used to wrap the
. Or, if you want smaller strips, fold the sheet twice more to get 8 strips.
3. When the rice
is cooked, divide it into eight equal parts. Make the
while the rice is hot. Take one portion of rice and put it in a small teacup or bowl.
4. Fill and shape the onigiri:
Moisten your hands with the salt water to keep the rice from sticking (if you like your
saltier, moisten your hands in the water, then rub a pinch of salt on your palm and rub your hands together). Make an indentation in the rice, and fill it with a little of the filling. Cover the filling with rice and mold the rice using your hands: For a triangular shape, cup one hand to hold the rice ball. Press gently with your other hand to create the top corner of the triangle, using your index and middle fingers and thumb as a guide. Turn the ball and repeat 2 more times to give the
3 corners; it will be approximately 1 inch thick. The
can also be round or oval in shape.
with the rest of the rice and fillings to form 8
6. Wrap the onigiri
and press some roasted sesame seeds on the rice. Serve immediately. If you don't plan to eat the
right away, wrap them in plastic but do not refrigerate.
Each basic onigiri (without optional fillings):