When you combine the idea of a tea sandwich together with the concept of Japanese rice balls (a.k.a. onigiri), the result is onigirazu. This snack is a new take on onigiri, and the best part is that the filling options are virtually endless. Any filling ingredients that typically go into making a tea sandwich can easily go into making a new variety of onigirazu.
The process of forming onigirazu is a matter of using a measuring cup so that the rice on both sides of the filling are equal. You can use either regular or short-grain rice here, just make sure to have a bowl of water nearby so that you can easily shape it. Nori serves as a wrapper around the entire “sandwich,” and adds a rich, savory taste to the end product.
The classic BLT–the combination of crisp bacon, ripe tomatoes, and tender butter lettuce–is a hit every time. But remember–these handheld sandwiches can be made with a host of other fillings, including more traditional tea party faire like curried egg salad or even smoked salmon with herbed cream cheese. These tasty, versatile treats are great for serving at the table, but even better as an on-the-go lunch or snack. Serve them with some deliciously crisp Apple Green Tea or take them along on a picnic with easy to brew organic powdered green teas and stage is set for a perfect afternoon!
This post is sponsored by Yamamotoyama.
Makes 4 onigirazu.
1 cup sushi rice
1 1/2 cup water
3 pieces of nori (I used Yamamotoyama’s Kiku Ariake)
6 slices center cut bacon (I use 1 1/2 strips per onigirazu)
slices of ripe tomato
1/3 cup measure
small rice bowl
bowl with cold water
1. Cook the rice. I typically use a ratio of 1 cup rice to 1 1/2 cups of water, which yields just under 3 cups of cooked rice. Dip your hands in cold water, then coat the inner surfaces of the small bowl and measuring cup with the water too. Pack 1/3 cup of rice into the measuring cup, and then transfer the rice to the small bowl. 2. Compact the rice, then flip it out onto the rough side of a nori sheet. Wet your hands again, then slightly pat the rice round down so that it resembles a patty. 3. Spread a thin layer of mayo on the rice round, then scatter some togarashi on top to taste. Place the filling ingredients onto the rice round. Dip your hands in cold water, then coat the inner surfaces of the small bowl and measuring cup with the water again. Pack 1/3 cup of rice into the measuring cup, and then transfer the rice to the small bowl. Flip this 2nd rice round down on top of the filling ingredients.
4. With wet hands, slightly pat the rice round down. Fold one corner of the nori to the center of the rice round, then do the same with the rest of the corners.
5. Flip the nori wrapped package over so that it lies seam side down. Wrap a piece of plastic wrap around it tightly, then use the palm of your hand to lightly press and form the onigirazu into a square shape. To serve, use a sharp knife to cut the sandwich in half.