Maria Zizka's Onigiri

Maria Zizka's Onigiri

Excerpted from Boards, Platters, Plates by Maria Zizka (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2021. Photographs by Erin Scott.

Author and recipe developer Maria Zizka just released her newest cookbook, Boards, Platters, Plates, including this recipe for onigiri!

Maria says, ”Onigiri are snackable, portable Japanese rice triangles wrapped in nori and filled with salty or sour ingredients like pickled plum. This version is filled with spicy tuna. The heat comes from togarashi, a seasoning blend of ingredients including various ground chile peppers and orange peel. To keep the crackly crisp texture of the nori, make sure to wait to wrap it around the rice until right before eating.”

For the steamed rice
4 cups (960 ml) water
2 cups (400 g) short-grain white rice, rinsed
1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more for shaping the triangles

For the spicy tuna filling
1 (5-ounce/140 g) can of albacore or yellowfin tuna in extra-virgin olive oil, drained
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
¾ teaspoon Seed + Mill Togarashi Spice, plus more

To serve
Fine sea salt
1 green onion, white and green parts, very thinly sliced

Store-bought components
4 sheets toasted nori
3 tablespoons white and/or black sesame seeds
Soy sauce or tamari
8 ounces (225 g) edamame in the pod

1. Make the steamed rice: In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the rice and salt. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and cook for 18 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Let cool until just slightly warm.
2. Make the spicy tuna filling: In a small bowl, mix together the tuna, mayonnaise, vinegar, togarashi, a pinch of salt, and most of the green onion (save a few slices for garnishing) until well combined.
3. To shape the onigiri, fill a small bowl with lightly salted warm water. Lightly wet your hands with the water (this helps prevent the rice from sticking to your hands), then scoop up a palm-size amount of the steamed rice, about one-eighth of the total rice. Use your hands to shape the rice into a triangle, make an indentation in the center of it, and fill it with 1 tablespoon of the spicy tuna mixture. Pinch and mold the rice to enclose the filling, adding a little more rice if needed to completely cover the filling. Repeat with the remaining rice and spicy tuna to create 8 onigiri.
4. Assemble: Place the rice triangles on a serving board. Use clean kitchen shears to cut each sheet of nori in half. Arrange the nori next to the triangles so that everyone can wrap the nori around the rice right before eating, to keep the nori crisp. Serve the sesame seeds, extra togarashi, and soy sauce in individual small bowls for sprinkling and dipping. Place the edamame directly on the board as well and set an empty bowl alongside for the pods.

Serves 4 to 8.

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