This Book Teaches You How to Make a Different Onigiri for Every Day of the Year

A must for onigiri lovers.

ONIGIRI: 365 wonderful recipes! won first place in the rice category of an international cookbook award.

Now that people are refraining from going out due to the call to stay at home, many are beginning to be interested in “isolation food recipes” for delicious home-made meals. If you are one of them, we would like to recommend Japan’s soul food,
onigiri (Japanese rice ball). 

ONIGIRI: 365 wonderful recipes!
is a recipe book that won first place in the rice category of the 25TH GOURMAND WORLD COOKBOOK AWARDS 2020. It was published by Newsline, a company from Niigata Prefecture, the rice capital of Japan. In this article, we will share recipe ideas from this book about making onigiri, a Japanese food culture creating a buzz in the world today. During this pandemic, when going out and eating out must be avoided as much as possible, try to have fun at home by making your own unique onigiri with your family.

Everybody loves onigiri!

For the Japanese, onigiri is a food everybody has eaten at least once in their lives since childhood. Many adults might even recall making onigiri as their first attempt at cooking in their preschool or elementary school lessons. The good thing about onigiri is you only need rice, and anyone regardless of age, can enjoy making one.

ONIGIRI: 365 wonderful recipes!
also discusses how to cook delicious rice!

washoku (traditional Japanese cuisine) was designated as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2013, the Japanese food boom is still going on in other countries. Of course, onigiri is part of this with more than 480,000 posts on Instagram hashtagged #onigiri. In fact, foreign readers of the recipe book ONIGIRI left comments such as “Amazing!” or “It looks delicious!” It is not an exaggeration to say that onigiri is an on-the-go meal attracting attention from all over the world.

Use any ingredient.

The most common triangle onigiri

Common fillings for onigiri include plum, salmon,
kombu (sea kelp), and cod roe but innovative ingredients are also becoming a trend. Another good thing about onigiri is that it goes with almost anything.

Pickled eggplant x Japanese ginger onigiri

For example, in this pickled eggplant and Japanese ginger onigiri, instead of eating
tsukemono (Japanese pickled vegetables) and then rice, mixing it with the rice is an option.

Beef x gochujang (Korean red chili paste) x banno negi onion

Like this beef, gochujang, and
banno negi onion onigiri, using ingredients of a certain dish is another option. Instead of putting your leftovers from last night in a bulky lunch box, by doing things this way, you can finish your lunch quickly without the mess.


Mountain asparagus in plum onigiri.

Furthermore, using seasonal produce for ingredients like the mountain asparagus in plum
onigiri or corn and spring carrots onigiri, will let you enjoy the season’s flavors in your daily life. Children who dislike vegetables when served separately might even give it a try if served in such a colorful way.

Any combination is possible

When you say
onigiri, what usually comes to mind is a triangle-shaped rice wrapped in nori (dried seaweed) with meat or vegetable fillings. However, ONIGIRI features other ways of making one.

Oyster sauce-flavored oyster onigiri

For example, combine ingredients that make you wonder, “Can these ingredients be used in an onigiri?” or “Isn’t this a little over-the-top?” like oyster sauce-flavored oyster onigiri, or Pacific saury and coriander onigiri.

Pacific saury and coriander onigiri

Season the rice itself or mix them together. Cover the ingredients completely with rice or use them as topping. Wrap it with nori in the
konbini-style way, the sushi roll way, the belt-like way, or don’t use nori at all and wrap it with perilla leaves instead. The combinations are endless! So when making onigiri with your family, let each member make their own based on the size and shape they think is best for themselves. By deliberately not setting rules, each unique feature and each aspect they carefully considered in the making process will become an unusual conversation topic leading to a more fun and memorable experience.

Make one for the aesthetic

Chrysanthemum and lotus root

You can explore and try ingredients that look good together. For example, in this chrysanthemum and lotus root
onigiri, it lets you experiment with colors and shapes that give the onigiri a popping visual.

Salted kelp and green peas onigiri. Many other imaginative onigiri recipes are featured as well!

In this salted kelp and green peas
onigiri, the usually simple, deep flavor and mature image of salted kelp becomes more vibrant and youthful by adding green peas.

Roasted ginkgo nuts and Chinese cabbage onigiri

This roasted ginkgo nuts and Chinese cabbage
onigiri has nori wrapped around its sides which makes it look like a small side dish bowl. By giving it a unique look, onigiri making will become more enjoyable.

ONIGIRI: 365 wonderful recipes!

ONIGIRI contains 365 recipes that you can try every day of the year. It teaches you how to properly make rice from washing to cooking while including tidbits of information about rice in general. It also covers key ingredients, the voice of farmers, and an interview with a cook. A lot of information is published just in one book alone.
ONIGIRI, which won first place in the 25TH GOURMAND WORLD COOKBOOK AWARDS 2020 is in full English, while an original Japanese version is also sold as an ebook.


Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Tokyo Walker™ (20 April 2020)

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