What is yaki onigiri?
Cooked Japanese rice is tossed with tare, shaped in molds and pan grilled while getting brushed with more tare. It is a portable snack, a quick breakfast or a side dish.
What kind of rice is best for making onigiri?
Japanese rice is, of course, traditional. It is a medium-grain rice that’s just sticky enough to allow the grains to form into a clump when pressed together. It is not the same as glutinous rice.
How much rice should you cook for onigiri?
That depends on how many pieces of onigiri you want to end up with, and the size of each piece. The recipe below has measurment for cooked rice. Two cups. Since a cup of rice is normally cooked with a cup to a cup and a half of water (depending on the age and dryness of the grains), that translates to three-quarters to a cup of rice.
How much tare you should prepare also depends on how much cooked rice you intend to make into yaki onigiri. Tare is a reduced and concentrated sauce so don’t overdo it.
How many pieces of yaki onigiri you can make with two cups of cooked Japanese rice depends on the size of your molder. Yes, onigiri molders come in different sizes and design. Ours is small, about one-fourth cup capacity.
To cook yaki onigiri, fry the shaped rice until a light crust forms. Turn the onigiri over and brush the crusty side with more tare. Flip again, brush the opposite side with tare. Repeat… and then add butter.
- onigiri molder
- ¼ cup Japanese soy sauce
- ¼ cup sake
- ¼ cup mirin
- 2 cups cooked Japanese rice
- cooking oil
- butter (optional)
- aonori to garnish (optional)
Make the tare
- In a small sauce pan, gently boil the soy sauce, sake and mirin until reduced by half.
- Cool the tare.
Make the onigiri
- Measure two tablespoons of tare and stir into the cooked Japanese rice.
- Brush the inside of the onigiri molder with a little water (this prevents the rice from sticking to the molder).
- Fill the onigiri molder with the seasoned rice then position the cover and press to make the rice compact.
- Unmold the onigiri.
- Repeat until all the seasoned rice have been shaped.
Pan grill the onigiri
- With the stove set to medium heat, brush the bottom of a frying pan with cooking oil.
- Lay your onigiri, triangular side down (or the side with the largest flat surface, if your onigiri is not triangular), in the hot oil and cook until the underside forms a light crust. Turn the onigiri over to allow the opposite side to form a crust.
- Brush the top of the onigiri (the one where a crust has already formed) with tare.
- Flip the onigiri and brush the opposite side with tare.
- Turn the onigiri one last time and place a sliver of butter on top.
- Repeat with the rest of the onigiri.