With Halloween around the corner next week, Scaredy-Cat Onigiri are just what you need to get the kiddos full before heading out for trick-or-treating. These are deliciously adorable, made to look loopy and crazed with fear!
Onigiri are so perfect with a hot cup of tea. They can be filled with many tasty fillings–this time with a simple, fresh tuna salad that’s spot-on for pairing with our kitty theme! If the little ones don’t like tuna, no problem. Just use canned chicken breast instead.
You can easily shape these triangular onigiri by hand, but since I have a small mold I put that to good use here. The rice balls end up about the size of a golf ball, filled with wholesome short-grain brown rice instead of typical sushi rice. The whiskers are made from wildly curly, dry ramen noodles that have been broken up into short pieces. It’s important to note that pointy-tipped, shell-on sunflower seeds are used to make the cat ears. That being said, give the kiddos a heads up to snack on those first before biting into the onigiri. Cooked black beans also make great ears–slightly less pointy but they’ll still do the trick!
Make plenty of Scaredy-Cat Onigiri either on Halloween or the night before you plan on serving them. Kids and adults will love these freaked out felines, getting everyone out the door and on to Halloween night!
Makes 8 small rice balls.
1 cup brown rice, short-grain
1 3/4 cups water
1/2 can of 5 oz. tuna
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp mayo, or to taste
1/8 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper
8 nori half-sheets (I used Yamamotoyama’s Kiku Ariake)
provolone cheese, sliced
1 extra half-sheet of nori
sunflower seeds, shell-on
ramen noodles, dry
onigiri maker (optional)
bowl of cold water
fat & skinny straws
paper hole punch
1. Cook the rice with the water. After the rice is cooked, fluff it and let it cool to room temp.
2. Make the tuna filling by combining the tuna, lemon zest & juice, mayo, salt & pepper, onion powder and parsley. Set aside.
3. To make the onigiri, fill a wetted onigiri maker 1/2 full, leaving a slight well for the filling. Make sure that your hands are wet otherwise the rice will stick. Add about 2 tsp of filling into the well, then top the filling with rice and press down to create a completed onigiri.4. Wet a half-sheet of nori so that it becomes soft. Place the onigiri on the rough side of this softened half-sheet of nori, and use it to wrap around the onigiri.
5. Like wrapping a gift, cover all of the rice so that none is exposed. Place this nori-wrapped onigiri into a small piece of plastic wrap and set aside for a few minutes so that at the rice and nori meld together.6. To make a cat, punch out 2 eye balls from a slice of provolone cheese. Use a fat straw to do this. Punch out a nose from a slice of sushi ginger. Use a thin straw to do this. Create pupils from a piece of nori. Use a paper hole punch to do this. Place these onto a nori-wrapped onigiri.
7. To add ears, use a toothpick to create 2 holes in the nori to place the ears. Use the toothpick to prick out holes for the whiskers to be placed. To finish, place a 3/4″ piece of curly ramen noodle into each whisker hole. Repeat steps 3-7 to make 8 onigiri. Happy Halloween!