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Salmon Onigiri

Onigiri, those little triangle-shaped rice balls, always make me think of anime and bento lunches.  Their shape makes them a very portable and easy to handle lunch item, especially when one is on the go.  Plus they’re fun to eat.

I know the typical way to make onigiri is to first shape the rice ball, hollow out a little well in the center, and then fill that with something, either salmon, tuna, umeboshi, or what.  However, this time I decided to mix the salmon flakes and furikake with the rice, because I wanted a more “balanced flavor” rice ball.  I don’t like eating plain rice very much, even if its just two bites of plain rice to get to the meaty center of the onigiri.  But that’s just me.  Feel free to make this the traditional way.  🙂

Salmon Onigiri

3 c. sushi rice, cooked (you can also use jasmine rice, but it won’t be as “sticky”)
1 6oz salmon fillet
Furikake, to taste
1 T. vegetable oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Cook 3 c. of rice in rice cooker, then set aside to let cool.  Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the salmon fillet.  In a small nonstick skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat.  Sear the salmon fillet on one side for approximately 5 minutes, then flip over and cook another 2-3 minutes.  The fish is done once it flakes easily with a fork.

In a large bowl, combine the rice, salmon and furikake.  I didn’t measure the amount of furikake I used, but just used enough to flavor the rice–at least 1 tablespoon’s worth of furikake.  Flake the salmon into small pieces.  Mix thoroughly.  Scoop rice mixture generously into an onigiri mold, then use the “lid” of the onigiri mold to firmly press down on the rice and give shape to the onigiri.  You want to use a lot of rice for each onigiri, so that it has more density and doesn’t fall apart when you take it out of the mold.  Wrap any leftover onigiri tightly in saran wrap so it doesn’t dry out and consume within a day or two.

Makes 10 onigiri.