Seen as a healthy snack, or a plus to our lunch, the onigiri is undoubtedly one of the elements that animate Japanese gastronomy.
Less famous than sushi, it represents that category of “Comfort Food” with the smell and taste of home.
Mothers cook it for their children and husband’s Obento, young students that want to save some money, prepare it in the morning in a hurry, and devour it on the way to school … everyone loves Onigiri, and their versatility makes them perfect for any age!
Aren’t also you particularly attracted to it? Forget the stereotype of the simple triangle of tasteless rice.
This simple rice ball is also known as “Omusubi”, which in Japanese means “to tie”, “to link”.
When we prepare an Onigiri in fact, the ingredients bind to each other through a light pressure of our hands. Similarly, according to Japanese culture, offering it to the person we love (friend, boyfriend, husband …) we transmit a sense of affection that leads us to bond with one another, just like rice grains.
Who would not feel grateful and happy eating an Onigiri made with love by someone.
Another aspect that we can not forget is the heart that composes them.
Did you know that onigiri can be considered a real gourmet dish?
Around the country there are several shops and restaurants entirely specialised in their preparation. Forget the Onigiri at 100 Yen (without taxes) at the conbini!
Depending on the type and area of rice chosen, the condiments used and the quality of seaweed that surrounds them, you can experience real gastronomic experiences that can make this simple triangle an explosion of flavors.
An example? You should visit the restaurant Yadoroku in Tokyo to taste one of the best Onigiri of Japan!
How many times a week do weeat Onigiri? Everyday!
Since Yo works away from home, I often put an extra one in his backpack, along with his usual Obento, so he can eat it on the way back. Besides the fact that my husband is an insatiable eater, it is always a pleasure to have a post-work snack to eat after work, especially if you have to face train hours!
Me instead, with the arrival of spring, the onigiri becomes my favorite snack.
I like to flavor it with herbs, umeboshi or sprinkled with a simple mix of sesame and salt, wrap it in a shiso leaf, and enjoy it with a good cup of tea if possible outside, in the open air.
In short, in our home the Onigiri are almost our everyday snack, and for this reason, if you are a lovers a Japanese cuisine like me, today I want to offer you a really simple recipe, ideal for your Bento or for a light and tasty afternoon snack.
Miso Yaki Onigiri can be translated as “Grill Onigiri with Miso”.
These are balls or triangles of rice with a slightly crunchy texture, covered with a thin layer of miso.
They are a dinner-saver dish as they are incredibly quick to prepare, and an idea solution, in case you have rice left in the fridge and don’t know what to do with it.
Do not hesitate in choosing the miso, as there is no ideal one! If you love light and sweet flavours, I suggest you to use white miso, while instead, if you prefer intense and concentrated flavours, I suggest red miso. Or why not you can decide to mix them up to find your perfect flavour combination!
Generally, even following Yo’s mother’s advice, I like to give him an extra bittersweet taste, combining ingredients such as Sake, Mirin, Sugar and Soy Sauce with miso.
The proportions I use are:
But even here, I recommend you trust your palate and decide according to your personal tastes!
As for the cooking phase instead, here is how to proceed in order not to break your onigiri while you are grilling them (very common mistake):
As already mentioned, the procedures listed above, together with the quantities of ingredients used, vary according to your palate.
Don’t be afraid to add or remove ingredients you don’t like the taste. Instead, find your personal recipe.
As for me, I love the combination Miso + Shiso leaves
Together they give that fresh and bittersweet touch to the onigiri that drives me crazy!
For this reason, often (almost always) I combine the finely chopped shiso leaves with rice, and mix them until they are well blended.
I shape the onigiri (always remember to moisten your hands so that the rice does not stick), I proceed to the first grill, I sprinkle them with miso and end with the second one.
For the recipe you see in the picture, I decided to use a special miso: Yuzu Miso.
For who doesn’t know, miso consists of a fermentation of soy beans together with rice (or other cereals), sugar and salt. From this starting point, the various producers differ from each other by the addition of different ingredients.
Thanks to Kokoro Care Packages, a distribution service for boxes containing Japanese foods that are difficult to find abroad, I was able to prepare my Onigiri with Yuzu Miso for the first time, and I felt in love with it!
Yuzu is a citrus with a yellow color, similar to lemon, with a taste that seems like a mix between a mandarin and a grapefruit. It is hardly consumed fresh, but its juice is a strongWhen it comes to Japanese snacks, the onigiri is always a great choice! You can buy them anywhere and in different flavors, but what do you think of the Yuzu Miso? element of Japanese gastronomy!
Mixed with miso, and grilled on rice, the result is an Onigiri with a delicate sour-sweet taste and a delicate umami aftertaste!
100% to try!