If you enjoy Japanese food, you might have heard of the name Onigirazu before. What is an Onigirazu? Basically, it is a parcel of rice and fillings wrapped in nori seaweed then sliced into two pieces. Onigirazu are perfect for lunch boxes, picnics or al fresco eating. What's more they are easy to make - all you need is some nori, some cooked Japanese rice and some fillings and you're good to go. No special equipment required, just a small frying pan and a roll of clingfilm.
Ah, you say, but your headline says "Mini Onigarazu". So what's that about? Well, as the name suggests, Mini Onigirazu are simply a smaller version of Onigirazu. Why a mini version? Because they make a great finger food and being smaller, they are good for serving with a range of other foods at, say, a picnic or a party. BTW kids also love them because they make great little snacks too!
The filling I use to make these Mini Onigirazu are as follows: Japanese omelette (Japanese meaning whisked egg + soy sauce) , some slices of avocado and some salad leaves, in this case rocket, but by all means feel free to use other leaves if you prefer.
So, how to make your first Mini Onigirazu. First off, you'll need some fresh Japanese rice. l use about 3 tbsp of rice per Mini Onigirazu. (Tip: Make sure the rice is cool before you use it otherwise the heat from the rice will spoil the nori.) Once you've got that put aside, it's time to make your omelette. For two Mini Onigirazu, I use 1 medium egg and 1.5 tsp of soy sauce. The key to the omelette is to get your (small) frying pan nice and hot and put in about 1.5 tsp of vegetable oil. When you pour in the omelette, make sure you get a thin covering over the whole of the pan. Keep moving the edge of the omelette as it cooks (to stop it sticking.) After about 1 minute, the bottom of the omelette should have formed a nice skin, so you'll need to use a slice to (carefully) flip it over. Don't then wait too long to slide the omelette out of the pan onto a plate - about 30 seconds will do. Next, slice the omelette in half and then into six pieces - three per half.
The last piece of prep is to take a sheet of nori and slice it in half down the longer side. (Although nori sheets look square, they are usually rectangular).
To assemble you first Mini Onigirazu, take a sheet of clingfilm about the size of a chopping board and lay it on your work surface. Lay a half sheet of nori on top. Spoon out 3 tablespoons of rice onto the nori and gently smooth the rice over so that you get a thin, uniform layer. Once that's done, take three of the pieces of omelette and lay then one on top of another in the middle of the rice. Then, take a few rocket (or your alternative) leaves and put those on top of the omelette. Last, lay two slices of avocado on the top of the leaves. Now, using the clingfilm, bring the two ends of the nori sheet together and fold them over to wrap the fillings. Fold the clingfilm over to complete a parcel and use some gentle pressure to form it into a nice, even shape. (The Youtube video tutorial shows you how to do this much better than words can!)
Once you've completed your Mini Onigirazu, let them rest for 5 - 10 minutes and then cut them across the open ends and voila, you have created your first Mini Onigirazu. Once you've made them, you can create your own fillings as well - the combinations are endless!
If the above has put you in the mood to get make your own Mini Onigirazu, you can find the Youtube tutorial by clicking Mini Onigirazu. Or just scroll to the bottom of the page. The written recipe is just below.
Happy wrapping! Kurumi XXXX.
(makes 2 Mini Onigirazu)
6 -7 tbsp of cooked Japanese rice
1/2 small avocado, seeded and peeled
1 medium egg
a handful of rocket or green leaves, rinsed
1.5 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 sheet of nori
a roll of cling film
Set aside 6-7 heaped tablespoons of cooked rice in a bowl meanwhile to cool.
Peel the avocado, halve and remove the stone. Cut one half of avocado into 6 slices longways - (you'll only need the 4 larger slices.),
Break the egg into a small bowl, add the soy sauce and whisk well.
To make the omelette, heat the vegetable oil in a small frying pan until it is hot. Pour the egg mixture in. The omelette will cook quickly, so be sure to get a thin skin of egg over the whole surface of the frying pan before the skin forms.
Use a pair of chopsticks or a slice to lift the edge of the omeletto gently to stop it from sticking.
When the egg is almost cooked (which should only take about 1 minute), flip the omelette over gently using a slicer in the frying pan. Then after about 20 - 30 seconds, slide the omelette out onto a plate.
Carefully cut the omelette in half, then into 6 pieces.
Next, fold the nori sheet along the longer side and cut in half along the fold.
Roll out a rectangule of cling film onto your work surface or chopping board. Lay a half sheet of nori onto the clingfilm. Spoon half the rice onto the nori and carefully spread in a thin, even layer.
Next, place 3 pieces of omelette in the middle of the rice. Place half of the rocket on top of the omelette and then add 2 slices of avocado. Fold over the ends of the nori sheet using the cling film and wrap the cling film into a small parcel.
Lightly press your Mini Onigirazu into an even shape and set a side for 5-10 minutes.
When both Mini Onigirazu are ready, slice each into 2 pieces across the open ends.