It looked like a magic trick the first time that I ever saw Onigirazu. It was a rice sandwich wrapped in nori that tasted like sushi from an alternative reality and what? how? dear god! was all I could exclaim.
Not only did it taste delicious but it looked so mind bending that I had to make it and just like a sandwich it can be created any number of ways to suit your mood and needs, which is why I have two kinds here. One is a crispy shrimp and the other a more sombered vegan option and they both turned out absolutely scrumptious.
The ingredients for these particular onigirazu are thinly sliced vegetables (cabbage, onions, coriander, carrots), avocado and shichimi (optional) for the vegan option. Shrimps, semolina and paprika, salt, pepper, minced garlic, cumin and oregano for the shrimp option. Also Nori sheets.
and cooked rice. I have cooked some black rice with white to get a purple. Who knew? The rice seasonings include, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar.
add the soy sauce, vinegar and sugar in with warm cooked rice
Add semolina and spices to the shrimp and mix well.
Cook on a hot skillet
until cooked and crispy. These shrimps have such an astounding flavour.
Now for the assembly which might look a bit intimidating but isn’t all that impossible. On the rough side of the nori sheet spread a layer of seasoned rice. Clamp it down well so it doesn’t dome and make this into anymore of a daunting task than it already is
Add a spread or sauce of choice. I went for the classic which is mayonnaise and ketchup mixed to primrose emulsion.
Top with cabbage or lettuce.
Followed by crispy shrimps.
Topped with some more cabbage
and rice. It starts with rice, it ends with rice.
And now it’s just a matter of folding everything into a pocket to form our onigirazu
Fold the opposite edges inwards so that they meet together and they’ll stick. Oh, they will stick. It’s magic.
Fold from the top and that there is our rather untidy pocket, but it’s there.
Now wrap it all in plastic wrap or butter paper as I used here because ugh, plastic! And that’s one done until we slice.
Same again for Onigirazu number 2. Start with rice and since the vegetables had no seasoning I went ahead with some shichimi, but you can use anything instead.
Followed by coriander
avocado and more shichimi, which was then topped again with rice and folded.
and so here we have a cross section of both. Side by side. I topped the vegan onigirazu with a bit of sriracha
Cooked rice- 1 cup
Nori sheets: 2
Seasoning for rice
Soy sauce- 1tbsp
Sugar- 1 tsp
Carrots thinly sliced
Cabbage thinly sliced
Note: You can use any vegetables as per availability and preference.
Shichimi pepper for seasoning (optional)
For shrimp Onigirazu
paprika, pepper, oregano, cumin, minced garlic, salt -1/2 tsp each
Mix the soy sauce, vinegar and sugar with warm rice and keep aside.
Mix the spices, salt and semolina in with the shrimp until they're well coated.
On a hot skillet with a teaspoon of oil cook the shrimp on both sides until crispy.
Lay the nori sheet so that the rough side is facing you.
Top with a dollop of seasoned rice and flatten it.
Followed with shredded cabbage. Spread some sauce or spread of choice on and top with shrimp. keep them all in a single layer so that the filling doesn't dome.
Top again with shredded cabbage followed by sauce and finally another dollop of rice.
Keep clamping down the filling.
Fold the nori sheet from opposite sides so that all meet in the middle.
Form into a pocket and wrap in cling film or butter paper.
Repeat process with vegetable filling.
Note: You can use any vegetables and seasonings according to your preference.