The Plastic Wrap Tip That Simplifies The Process Of Building Onigiri

Onigiri is as ubiquitous in Japan as sake and ramen. These little rice bites are a snack that can be found everywhere from corner stores and airport vending machines to high-end restaurants. They come in a variety of flavors and even different shapes, like perfect spheres or the classic triangle. It's easy to make onigiri at home, too. With the right ingredients and technique, you can nail the shapes and flavors of this simple snack in your own kitchen.

Getting the perfect shape for your onigiri can be one of the trickiest parts of making it, but it doesn't have to be a struggle that ends in amorphous blobs of sticky rice. One tip to make the shaping process easier is to use plastic wrap to help mold the rice. If the form isn't coming together by using just your hands and you're getting in a mess, place the rice onto a sheet of plastic wrap, then wrap it tightly around the rice and form into the shape you desire, free of sticky fingers. This will compress the rice into the correct shape with ease. Bonus: It can make for easy storage, too, if you make sure your fillings and toppings are in place before wrapping.

Tips for tasty onigiri

Onigiri is like a blank canvas for fun and flavorful rice snacks. In order to make proper onigiri, the most important thing to consider is what kind of rice you're using. It needs to be sticky sushi rice, like Japonica rice, in order to achieve the perfectly molded shapes. This type of rice has a higher moisture content when steamed, which helps the rice grains stick together and form the shape of the onigiri.

After you've got the most important ingredient, the rice, you can get creative with the rest. Opt for tasty classics like a red bean filling or a simple blanket of kombu (dried seaweed) around the rice. If you want to make it heartier, try adding things like smoked salmon or tuna inside the roll. You could even go for golden, shallow-fried yaki onigiri. To elevate the look, try dusting the outside of your onigiri with a sprinkle of black sesame seeds or even bonito flakes for an added punch of umami flavor. Whichever you choose, try the trick of using plastic wrap for high-standard shapes without getting your hands too sticky.