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Burger Musubi..

Like me, you may be partial to the occasional hamburger. For many Japanese of a certain age, a McDonald's Burger - (or make that a MakaDonaldo as the Japanese pronounce it) used to be a big childhood in the 1970s. Like most foods that the Japanese adopt as their own, the taste gets adapted over time to better suit local palates. One innovation that a Japanese rival to McDonald's called MosBurger (Mountain Ocean Sun Burger - don't ask me why!) introduced in the 1980s was the rice burger. Rice burgers were a great idea, especially if you found dry, spongy burger buns a bit of a disappointment. But there was a catch with the rice burger - it had to be served in a paper wrap because the rice was too soft to hold its shape - out of the wrapper, it would simply fall apart - not great for a "food on the go".

But there are some neat solutions to this problem, like my burger musubi recipe presented here.

First, you can shape the rice using a mould and then fry it for a few minutes. Frying the rice makes the starch bind the grains of together into a much more solid form. This is the hack I use to make my burger musubi "rice buns" and I find that the rice does become firm enough to be able to pick up and hold just like a burger bun. Second, you can wrap the rice and burger in a half sheet of nori seaweed.

So, how do I make these and what do you need to make this recipe? The only piece of "kit" you will need is a musubi mould. This is a small rectangular mould made of of food grade plastic with a small lid like the ones you can see below. These are quite cheap - you can buy them online for

Japanese musubi mould

around £4 / $5. As for the ingredients, you'll need a couple of burgers to make four burger musubi. Obviously, you'll need some cooked Japanese rice. (The rice has to be a short grain "sticky" variety or the grains won't bind together.) For this recipe, I flavour the burgers with teriyaki sauce. I also add a slice of cheddar cheese but this is a "naughty but nice" option that you can omit if you prefer. (I just can't resist cheese!) The only other thing you will need are a couple of sheets of nori and you'll be good to go!

If the photo above isn't enough to get you drooling just a little bit, then let me assure you, once you've tried one or two of these little beauties, you might never want a burger in a bread bun again. Really!

If you want to try this out, you can find the Youtube tutorial by clicking Burger Musubi or by scrolling to the bottom of the page. The written recipe is just below.

Happy cooking! Kurumi XXXX.



(makes 4 musubi burgers)

400g / 14oz cooked Japanese rice, (to make 4 "rice buns")

2 quarterpound burgers (ready made)

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp teriyaki sauce

2 sliced cheese

2 sheets of nori

some mayo

1 small bowl of water

1 musubi mould and lid


first, cook the burgers according to the instructions on the pack. I fry the burgers for this recipe in a dry for 10 minutes on each side over a medium heat

meanwhile, dip your musubi mould in the bowl of water. with the mould wet, you're less likely to get rice sticking to the mould

take 2 heaped tbsp of cooked Japanese rice and spoon it into the mould. use the spoon to tamp down the rice into the mould, then form the rice into a flat slice using the lid of the mould using a little pressure. next, raise the mould gently and push the rice out using the spoon - you should have a nice, even flat "bun". repeat until you have made 4 pairs

prepare a second frying pan. heat 1/2 tbsp of vegetable oil in the pan and fry the rice musubi buns on each side until lightly browned. once done, set aside

now return to your burgers. add 1 tbsp of teriyaki sauce to each burger, then flip the burgers over and coat them well with the sauce. once the burgers are cooked, cut each in half

now move on to the nori seaweed sheets. fold each sheet in half lengthways and cut into 4 sheets

do the same with the 2 slices of cheddar, cutting each in half

now to assemble your burger musubi! spread some mayonnaise over one of each pair of rice buns. add 1/2 of a burger on top and then a 1/2 slice of chedder cheese. put the second rice bun on the top. carefully wrap with the 1/2 nori sheet finshing with the ends of the sheet on the bottom of the burger musubi. repeat to create 4 burger musubi

the burger musubi are more substantial than a traditional burger so you only need to serve with a side salad for a satisfying (and really delicious) meal!


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