I like browsing through the WP reader, and use tags like food, lunch, rice, Japanese, Korean, art, London, recipe, random, food blog, and many many more to discover other blogs and inspiration. The other day, I found this very interesting post & tutorial about Onigirazu (you can find the full post here) by Nonbirichan.
As you know, I use quite a lot of onigiri in my lunches, sometimes very simple plain ones, other times I turn them into character bento, like boy & girl or piggies, but I had not heard of Onigirazu before. A quick internet search teaches me that apparently Onigarizu has been popular in Japan for some time now, so I guess it’s also time for me to join in :-)
If I understood it correctly, Onigiri = shaping rice, with Onigirazu = you don’t shape the rice, as in Japanese “zu” at the end of a verb makes the verb negative…(but please correct me if I am wrong). Basically you put some rice on a nori sheet, add your filling, top up with more rice and fold you nori sheet around it. Using some cling film will help to create a nice “parcel”. After resting for a few minutes, you cut the parcel to reveal the filling. The tutorial by Nonbirichan is very useful, or you can follow my step by step photo’s below.
I cheated a bit with my Onigirazu, and did shape the rice, using a square food mold. Of course you don’t need to use a mold, but it does make the process even easier :-)
The larger one (8 cm) is filled with smoked salmon and green beans; just layer up all your ingredients. The smaller one (6 cm) is filled with omelet, spinach and crabsticks. This mold is not as deep as the larger one, and I had put too much rice in the bottom layer so was really struggling to add more rice on the top so the top layer is too thin.
Few more tips:
- I used a little “pusher” to push down the rice and layers whilst filling. Also, when you remove the mold, keep the rice pushed down so that it won’t stick to the mold itself!
- Another cheat: I didn’t wrap/fold it using the whole sheet…I actually made a few well placed cuts with a scissor to avoid those tricky corners…. ;-)
- When wrapping your Onigarizu, mark the outside with a single rice kernel! This will help to show where to start cutting so that the filling is displayed nicely :-P
- Wait a few minutes before cutting, and use a wet knife (to avoid sticking). Also cut the Onigarizu with foil and all, this will help it keep together, and also, it’s easy for packing in your bento as they won’t stick together.