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Onigiri with Salmon

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Onigiri with salmon is a popular food in our family. They are easy to make, taste great, and are perfect for snacking on or as a light bite. Oh, and did I mention that they are also super cute?

Onigiri with Salmon

I first discovered onigiri years ago at our local Japanese grocers, and when I introduced it to my children, they immediately fell in love. They used to call them 'sushi sandwiches'! You can sort of see the logic, right, with the filling sandwiched between rice, and the nori wrapper making it similar to sushi...

Onigiri with Salmon

When my children were young and I was packing their lunches all the time, I would often make them onigiri with salmon. It's a great little lunchbox food and also ideal for using up leftover salmon, which we always seemed to have in the fridge.

I used to make my onigiri freehand, but it's not that easy to make nice looking triangular shapes with rice! I got better with practice, and although they still didn't look perfect, they were still pretty cute.

But then I discovered the onigiri mould! It was a total game changer that turned out perfectly formed triangular onigiri every time. I haven't looked back since, and now, if I'm ever caught making onigiri freehand, I tend to roll them into balls - less cute but equally tasty.

When making onigiri, it's best to use short grain or sushi rice, as the grains become a bit sticky when cooked and hold together better. Long grain rice tends to remain loose, even after cooking, so they won't hold together as well for onigiri.

Onigiri is usually finished with nori wrapping around the rice. It is impossible to keep the nori from going soft, especially if you're making it in the morning for packed lunch later in the day, unless you happen to have some of the nifty tearaway onigiri wrappers that the shops use (we don't)... But that doesn't bother us, and whilst the texture may be different, none of the taste is sacrificed.

Onigiri with Salmon

Onigiri with salmon also makes great finger food for babies and toddlers. They can deconstruct it to their hearts' content and practice their feeding and motor skills, whilst also getting their protein, carbohydrates and vegetables in for a balanced meal. You can also use other fillings, such as crab, tuna or avocado, to name a few.


Here's what you'll need to make onigiri with salmon:
(Click here to jump straight to the recipe)

105g short grain or sushi rice
60g cooked salmon
Pinch of sea salt (optional)
2 sheets of sushi nori
1 onigiri mould (optional)

And here's what you'll need to do:

  • Rinse the rice, and cook it according to packet instructions. Allow it to cool completely.
  • Cut your nori sheets to size, depending on how you want to wrap your onigiri.
  • Mash the salmon using chopsticks or the back of a fork, and mix in a pinch of sea salt, if you're not making this for very young children.
  • When the rice is completely cooled, scoop some into each of the deep compartments of the onigiri mould, and pat it down so that the base is lined with a thin layer of rice, and it comes up slightly on the sides, forming a small hollow indentation in the centre. I find this easiest to do using fingers, and wet them to stop the rice sticking to them.
  • If you don't have a mould, make your onigiri one at a time. Pat some rice into the palm of one hand, and make a slight indentation in the middle.
  • Fill each indentation with roughly a quarter of the salmon, leaving a small margin around the edges.
  • Cover the salmon with a bit more rice, pushing it down the sides, if using a mould.
  • Put the lid on the mould, and press it down all the way to compress the salmon and rice. Again, you can wet the lid slightly to prevent rice from sticking to it.
  • Flip the mould over, and use your thumbs to press down the centres, whilst lifting the edges to uncover the onigiri.
  • If you're making onigiri by hand, gently squeeze the rice to compress it, as you shape it into a triangle. Or you could shape it into a ball. Don't squeeze too hard, or the filling may fall out.
  • You can choose to wrap the onigiri with salmon in nori before serving. I tend to wrap them like parcels, leaving the corners exposed. You could also wrap just the edges or the base, or however else you'd like!

Onigiri with Salmon

By

Onigiri with Salmon

These cute little onigiri with salmon are perfect for snack or a light lunch, and kids really love to eat them.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4
Course: Snack, Main
Cuisine: Japanese
Tags: Sushi, Snack

Ingredients

105g short grain or sushi rice
60g cooked salmon
Pinch of sea salt (optional)
2 sheets of sushi nori
1 onigiri mould (optional)

Method

  1. Rinse the rice, and cook it according to packet instructions. Allow it to cool completely.
  2. Cut your nori sheets to size, depending on how you want to wrap your onigiri.
  3. Mash the salmon using chopsticks or the back of a fork, and mix in a pinch of sea salt, if you're not making this for very young children.
  4. When the rice is completely cooled, scoop some into each of the deep compartments of the onigiri mould, and pat it down so that the base is lined with a thin layer of rice, and it comes up slightly on the sides, forming a small hollow indentation in the centre. I find this easiest to do using fingers, and wet them to stop the rice sticking to them.
  5. If you don't have a mould, make your onigiri one at a time. Pat some rice into the palm of one hand, and make a slight indentation in the middle.
  6. Fill each indentation with roughly a quarter of the salmon, leaving a small margin around the edges.
  7. Cover the salmon with a bit more rice, pushing it down the sides, if using a mould.
  8. Put the lid on the mould, and press it down all the way to compress the salmon and rice. Again, you can wet the lid slightly to prevent rice from sticking to it.
  9. Flip the mould over, and use your thumbs to press down the centres, whilst lifting the edges to uncover the onigiri.
  10. If you're making onigiri by hand, gently squeeze the rice to compress it, as you shape it into a triangle. Or you could shape it into a ball. Don't squeeze too hard, or the filling may fall out.
  11. You can choose to wrap the onigiri with salmon in nori before serving. I tend to wrap them like parcels, leaving the corners exposed. You could also wrap just the edges or the base, or however else you'd like!

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