Portable, High Energy Japanese Onigiri Rice Triangles

onigiri rice triangles
Patsy Catsos

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

Calories 220
Fat 3g
Carbs 37g
Protein 10g
View All
Total Time 50 min
Prep 20 min, Cook 30 min
Servings 5 (2 triangles each)

Onigiri is a popular Japanese snack or lunchbox item. Much less fussy to assemble than sushi, you can vary the filling to suit yourself. Tightly wrapped, these keep for several days; they can be served cold, or pan-fried in a little oil to warm them up and make them crispy on the outside.

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups uncooked short grain white rice
  • 1 2/3 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ ounce dried sliced seaweed, finely chopped (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 4 ounces cooked, smoked, or canned salmon
  • 1 sheet nori

Preparation

  1. Measure the rice into a medium saucepan. Rinse, stir, and drain it several times. Cover it with plenty of water and allow it to soak for about 40 minutes or until the rice is an opaque white color. Thoroughly drain the rice in a mesh strainer.
  2. Return the drained rice to the saucepan. Add water and salt; cover the pot. Bring it to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook the rice for 20 minutes, then remove it from the heat. Leave the pot covered and allow the rice to steam for another 10 minutes to finish the cooking process.
  1. Sprinkle in the seaweed and sesame seeds. Stir to combine.
  2. When the rice mixture is cool enough to handle, moisten both hands. Spread about ½ cup of the rice out on the palm of one hand. Place 1 tablespoon of salmon in the center, and form the rice mixture into a ball around it. Press firmly to stick the rice together. Form it into the traditional triangle shape, flat on both sides, with rounded corners.
  3. Using scissors, cut the sheet of nori into strips, 1 x 2 ½-inches each; wrap a strip of nori around one edge of the triangle. Cover or wrap tightly until serving.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

Short grain brown rice can be used instead of white sushi rice. Use 1½ cups of brown rice, 2¼ cups of water, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook the rice for 50 minutes, remove from the heat, and steam for 10 more minutes.

Instead of salmon, stuff onigiri with smoked or canned sardines, tuna, herring, trout or mussels.

Instead of fish, stuff the onigiri with pickled low-FODMAP vegetables like carrots or cooked sweet potatoes.

Shred the fish and stir it into the rice before forming the onigiri. Stir finely chopped or shredded cooked carrots or pickled ginger into the rice before forming the onigiri.

Instead of salt, sliced seaweed, and sesame seeds, use a prepared onigiri seasoning blend or furikake rice seasoning.

Check ingredients to make sure than onions, garlic, and lactose are not present as flavorings or sweeteners.

Cooking and Serving Tips

Don't use any other type of rice. Only short grain white rice (sushi rice) or short grain brown rice are sticky enough to make onigiri.

The nori on the edge of the onigiri triangles keeps the rice from sticking to your fingers when you eat it. Start soaking the rice 40 minutes prior to the active preparation time for this recipe.

Nori may be sold as "roasted seaweed." Look for flat green sheets that look like dark green hand-made paper, with pictures of sushi rolls on the front.

Onigiri can be formed into any size or shape. Try balls the size of ping-pong balls, omitting the nori wrap.

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5 (2 triangles each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 220
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 510mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 10g  
Vitamin D 3mcg 15%
Calcium 60mg 5%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 792mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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