Authorchef-Julia.com
DifficultyBeginner

Onigiri, or rice balls, typically filled with assertively flavored ingredients, such as umeboshi plum, and wrapped with nori seaweed are packed into lunch boxes (obento) or eaten as a snack or meal. Plant based fillings such as mushrooms with ginger and garlic, simmered tofu, Japanese sweet potatoes, eggplant, and hijiki seaweed with carrots make the most scrumptious onigiri.

Yields4 Servings
Prep Time45 minsCook Time42 minsTotal Time1 hr 27 mins
Mushroom Filling
 8 oz mushrooms (shiitake or crimini), washed and chopped fine
 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
 3 small garlic cloves, minced
 4 scallions, finely chopped
 2 tsp soy sauce or tamari
 1 tbsp pickled ginger, minced
Tofu Filling
 1 16 ounce block of extra firm tofu
 2 tbsp soy sauce (low sodium)
 1 tbsp tahini
 1 tsp roasted white sesame seeds
 3 scallions, chopped finely
 ½ tsp salt (optional)
 1 tsp nutritional yeast
 2 tbsp finely cut up nori seaweed
 ¼ tsp Shichimi Togarashi
Hijiki Seaweed and Carrot Filling
 ½ oz dried hijiki seaweed, soaked in water for 30 minutes
 1 carrot, washed, scraped, and cut into julienne slices
 2 oz leftover tofu filling
 2 tbsp soy sauce
 2 tbsp mirin
 1 tsp Takii (mushroom powder)
Other Fillings and Toppings
 1 package umeboshi plums or ume plum paste
 1 package furikake or Eden Shake
Rice
 2 cups high quality sushi rice
Mushroom Filling
1

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for approximately 3 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, scallions and soy sauce and continue cooking for 5 or more minutes, until the mushrooms have softened. Leftover mushroom filling can be frozen and used another time.

Tofu Filling
2

Remove tofu from package and drain the liquid. Wrap the tofu in several layers of paper towels and place on a flat surface. Place a cutting board on top of the tofu along with a heavy book or other object that will press the liquid out of the tofu. Leave it for at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes discard the paper towels and cut the tofu into 1/4 inch cubes.
Place the tofu cubes and all the other ingredients in a bowl and combine.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spread the tofu cubes out. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Bake a few more minutes if you like the tofu firmer and chewier. Allow tofu to cool. If you have leftover tofu filling, freeze it and use it another time.

Hijiki Seaweed and Carrot Filling
3

Rinse hijiki seaweed and drain well.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Ad the seaweed, carrots, and tofu and cook for 1 minute. Add the soy sauce, and mirin and cook until the moisture has evaporated.
You can use the hijiki filling as a filling or mix it with the rice and form it into a ball. Leftover hijiki filling can be frozen and used another time.

Rice and Onigiri Instructions
4

Measure out 2 cups of rice and place in a bowl. Rinse the rice 10 times or until the water is fairly clear. Place the rice in a colander and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes place the rice in a rice cooker, or a medium size pot, and add 2 cups of water. Add 2 1/2 cups of water if using the stove top method. Allow the rice to soak for 20 minutes. Turn on the rice cooker and when the cooker indicates the rice is done, lift the lid and fluff up the rice with a paddle. If using a pot on the stove, bring the water to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook the rice for approximately 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and allow it to steam, covered, for another 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, lift the lid and fluff up the rice with a rice paddle.

For the onigiri, for every cup of uncooked rice yields about 2 cups of cooked rice. 1/2 cup of cooked rice makes 1 onigiri. This recipe will will make 8 onigiri. You may have extra fillings, so make more rice if you want to use all the fillings at one time.

Place a bowl of kosher salt on the work surface next to the pot of hot rice, and a bowl of water. Moisten your hands with a little water and grab a pinch of salt. Place 1/2 cup of hot rice in your hands and make an indentation to add the filling. Cover the filling and begin forming the desired shape onigiri. When finished add a strip of nori seaweed..

Ingredients

Mushroom Filling
 8 oz mushrooms (shiitake or crimini), washed and chopped fine
 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
 3 small garlic cloves, minced
 4 scallions, finely chopped
 2 tsp soy sauce or tamari
 1 tbsp pickled ginger, minced
Tofu Filling
 1 16 ounce block of extra firm tofu
 2 tbsp soy sauce (low sodium)
 1 tbsp tahini
 1 tsp roasted white sesame seeds
 3 scallions, chopped finely
 ½ tsp salt (optional)
 1 tsp nutritional yeast
 2 tbsp finely cut up nori seaweed
 ¼ tsp Shichimi Togarashi
Hijiki Seaweed and Carrot Filling
 ½ oz dried hijiki seaweed, soaked in water for 30 minutes
 1 carrot, washed, scraped, and cut into julienne slices
 2 oz leftover tofu filling
 2 tbsp soy sauce
 2 tbsp mirin
 1 tsp Takii (mushroom powder)
Other Fillings and Toppings
 1 package umeboshi plums or ume plum paste
 1 package furikake or Eden Shake
Rice
 2 cups high quality sushi rice

Directions

Mushroom Filling
1

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for approximately 3 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, scallions and soy sauce and continue cooking for 5 or more minutes, until the mushrooms have softened. Leftover mushroom filling can be frozen and used another time.

Tofu Filling
2

Remove tofu from package and drain the liquid. Wrap the tofu in several layers of paper towels and place on a flat surface. Place a cutting board on top of the tofu along with a heavy book or other object that will press the liquid out of the tofu. Leave it for at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes discard the paper towels and cut the tofu into 1/4 inch cubes.
Place the tofu cubes and all the other ingredients in a bowl and combine.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spread the tofu cubes out. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Bake a few more minutes if you like the tofu firmer and chewier. Allow tofu to cool. If you have leftover tofu filling, freeze it and use it another time.

Hijiki Seaweed and Carrot Filling
3

Rinse hijiki seaweed and drain well.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Ad the seaweed, carrots, and tofu and cook for 1 minute. Add the soy sauce, and mirin and cook until the moisture has evaporated.
You can use the hijiki filling as a filling or mix it with the rice and form it into a ball. Leftover hijiki filling can be frozen and used another time.

Rice and Onigiri Instructions
4

Measure out 2 cups of rice and place in a bowl. Rinse the rice 10 times or until the water is fairly clear. Place the rice in a colander and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes place the rice in a rice cooker, or a medium size pot, and add 2 cups of water. Add 2 1/2 cups of water if using the stove top method. Allow the rice to soak for 20 minutes. Turn on the rice cooker and when the cooker indicates the rice is done, lift the lid and fluff up the rice with a paddle. If using a pot on the stove, bring the water to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook the rice for approximately 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and allow it to steam, covered, for another 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, lift the lid and fluff up the rice with a rice paddle.

For the onigiri, for every cup of uncooked rice yields about 2 cups of cooked rice. 1/2 cup of cooked rice makes 1 onigiri. This recipe will will make 8 onigiri. You may have extra fillings, so make more rice if you want to use all the fillings at one time.

Place a bowl of kosher salt on the work surface next to the pot of hot rice, and a bowl of water. Moisten your hands with a little water and grab a pinch of salt. Place 1/2 cup of hot rice in your hands and make an indentation to add the filling. Cover the filling and begin forming the desired shape onigiri. When finished add a strip of nori seaweed..

Plant Based Onigiri
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