Friday, July 22, 2011

Onigiri with Salmon and Edamame

An onigiri, for those of you that aren't acquainted with them, is white short-grain rice pressed into a ball, triangle, or other shape.

They're also called musubi.

The onigiri of my youth was made with lightly salted plain rice with a bit of umeboshi in the middle, the saltiness acting as a natural preservative.

At a recent family wedding, we saw our friend Janet Ito, and my mom mentioned a couple of things about her--that she's gotten more pretty with age, and that she makes a really delicious salmon and wakame musubi.

I had to wholeheartedly agree with Mom, on both counts.

Janet has a natural beauty, I love her sense of style.

And she's made her salmon and wakame musubi for me before--they're delicious!

I've taken Janet's salmon and wakame musubi and my friend Cherie's edamame rice and put them together for my version of Onigiri with Salmon and Edamame.

Thank you, Janet and Cherie, for the inspiration!

Here, have a closer look!

Does anyone want to say, "Itadakimasu" right now and have a bite?

The first thing you do to make onigiri is make rice.

After you've got your rice cooking, start to prepare what you're going to put in it.

I'm making a lot--some to share--so you might want to cut down the recipe accordingly.


4 cups uncooked short grain rice, cooked

2 tablespoons dried seaweed mix or wakame
1 cup cooked salmon, flaked
1 cup cooked edamame beans


This is what I used--it's a package of dried hijiki seaweed with carrots, mushrooms, daikon radish and renkon (lotus root).

This is plain wakame, cut into small pieces.

It's a different kind of seaweed, flat and broad, compared to hijiki.

You prepare both the same way.

I used about two tablespoons of the dried seaweed mix.

Put it into a small bowl and add warm water to cover to hydrate the vegetables.

This piece of salmon is leftover from the other day's Grilled Salmon with Wasabi Mayo and Furikake.

I saved it to make the onigiri because it got stuck to the grill a bit and wasn't very pretty--but the wasabi mayo and furikake would have covered that flaw nicely, so it doesn't matter if it's not perfectly cooked.

Flake the salmon with a fork.

The renkon pieces are a little big, so I cut them into smaller pieces.

Some of the other vegetables in this mix are a little big for onigiri, so I gave the whole lot a rough chop.

When the rice is done, let it cool a bit, and transfer it to a large bowl.

It's okay if the rice has a bit of koge (browned patches from the bottom of the pot) on it, you're going to mix it up, and won't be able to tell.

If the koge is thick, take it off.

Lightly salt the rice, fold and mix with a cutting motion so the rice kernels don't get smashed.

Add the salmon.

And the seaweed.

Mix gently.

Then add the cooked edamame beans.

Mix that gently too.

Add a few shakes of salt to a small bowl of water.

You're going to use this water to dip your hands into as you're making the onigiri, so the rice doesn't stick to your hands.

Measure about 1/3 cup of the rice mixture into your hands that you've moistened with the salty water.

Cup your hands together, one over the other in an 'x', and press the rice into a triangle shape, turn the triangle, and press again.

Keep turning the triangle until you get this shape.

By the time you're done with the rice you've prepared, you'll be an expert.

You want to press it firmly enough so the rice sticks together, but not so much that it gets too dense and the rice gets smashed together--you should still be able to see the individual grains of rice.

Onigiri is popular in Hawaii, Japan, and my neighbors say Taiwan, too--so popular that they have them in convenience stores made all different ways.



We recently went to a retirement party for one of my husband's cousins.

It's always so much fun to see everyone!

I was so happy to see Kelly!

Kelly lives in Arizona now, and we don't get to see her too often.

That's Garrett on the right.

Look what he's cooking!

Garrett worked hard on the barbecue, grilling carne and pollo asada too.

Dinner was pot-luck with a Mexican theme.


Rick and I made guacamole.

And corn salsa.

Look at this little cutie.

What a sweet face!

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law brought their little one too.

He slept through the whole party.

That's my son Rick on the left--if it's your first time here, you might not know.

Kelly's teaching in Arizona.

Kelly's boyfriend, Jared, is an architect.

This is their dog, Dex.

This is Beeto and her dad Bill.

You might remember Beeto.

She's been here before, many times.

I didn't get a photo of Beeto and Jared together this time,

To put next to this one of them that was taken eleven years ago.

That day, Beeto had a huge crush on Jared, and was glued to his side all day.

They hadn't seen each other before--or since.

This is Garrett and his girlfriend, Lena.

It's Garrett's Dad that's retiring.

I love how Garrett talks about his dad and looks after him.

This is Garrett's older brother, Chad.

If you want to know what to watch on TV, ask Chad.

He's seen everything and knows what's good.

This is younger brother, Dean, with Austin.

He has a beautiful smile.

Dean, not Austin.

When Dean smiles, his face lights up and his eyes sparkle.

This is Mako, the retiree, and Meg, his sister.

Thanks for having us all over for a great party, Meg!

Meg had a slew of items she thought every retiree might need.

Starting with a wheel chair.

As the evening progressed, we all played,

"Pin the mustache on Uncle Mako".

Erik drew this picture--it's a great likeness!

If you want your guests to have some fun at a party, put out some mustaches on a table.

Jessica could hardly contain her laughter.

We all couldn't either.

The mustaches and game were really fun--especially when the kids started fooling around.

Rick's funny.

After one of the boys was blindfolded, spun around, and ready to pin the mustache on the picture, Rick moved the sliding glass door and put his face right where the picture would be.

Makes for a fun evening with lots of laughter!

Thank you, Mako and Meg, for getting the family together once a month.

You're building strong family ties.

We all are so appreciative.

Congratulations, Mako, on your retirement!



4 cups uncooked rice, cooked

2 tablespoons dried seaweed mix or wakame
1 cup cooked salmon, flaked
1 cup cooked edamame beans


Put seaweed mix into a small bowl and cover with warm water to rehydrate. Flake salmon with a fork.

When rice is done cooking, let it cool for awhile and transfer it to a large bowl. Lightly salt the rice and mix. Add the seaweed, salmon and edamame. Mix gently.

Moisten your hands with lightly salted water, and using about 1/3 cup of the rice mixture, shape rice into triangles.

1 comment:

  1. I learned a new word, onigiri. If Ry saw this, he would want it! I will make it, but I'm sure it won't be as pretty as yours (or as good as yours).

    Enjoyed the pictures, especially the mustache ones.