Recipe provided by: Christine Lau, Executive Chef of Kimika in New York, NY
When Chef Christine Lau thinks back to taking day trips to the beach with her friends, they would each bring drinks, snacks, fruit, and sandwiches for sharing. Some of her favorite snacks include beef jerky, corn nuts, and shrimp chips, but they always leave her wanting a bit more sustenance. She was always the happiest on those day trips to the beach when her friend Manabu – a Japanese pastry chef – would surprise the group with containers of onigiri – a filling + compact snack that allow her to incorporate some of her favorite.
On-the-giri is the perfect one-handed snack for the road trip traveler that combines all of Chef Christine’s favorite snacking elements into one delicious bite. Feel free to get creative with this recipe and substitute her favorite snacks with yours; there are no limits to how many things you can stuff into an onigiri!
Makes 12 onigiri
- 6 c cooked short grain rice, prepared per the packaging instructions
- 4 oz air-dried beef jerky chips
- ½ c corn nuts, approximately 2 oz
- 1 c shrimp chips, approximately 1 oz
- 12 sheets Korean seasoned nori
To prepare onigiri seasonings:
- Chop beef jerky chips by hand or use a food processor.
- Using a food processor or blender, crush corn nuts into the size of coarse bread crumbs.
- Using a food processor or blender, pulverize shrimp chips into fine bread crumbs.
- Mix corn nuts and shrimp chips together in a bowl and set aside.
To make onigiri:
- Using freshly cooked warm rice, fluff with a rice paddle. You can use leftover rice but it is best if rice has not been refrigerated.
- Place rice and chopped beef jerky into a mixing bowl and combine.
- Season with salt as needed.
To shape onigiri:
- Combine 2 c water and 4 tbsp salt, dissolve with whisk.
- Cover your hands with water to prevent rice from sticking to your palms.
- Take 1/3 c of mixed rice and shape into a 1 inch thick triangle.
- Press the rice together firmly so the rice kernels stick together.
- With dry hands, dip two (2) side edges of the triangle into the corn nut and shrimp chip crumb mixture.
- Place 1 piece seasoned nori on the remaining edge of the triangle. Fold over the side so it is an easy place to grab and hold the onigiri.
- Repeat steps 8-14 until you have used all of the rice and beef jerky mixture. You should have about 12 On-the-Giri.
- Wrap each On-the-Giri in plastic wrap and place in an air-tight container to take on the road.
Onigiri are best consumed on the day of but can be made ahead of time. If making ahead of time, a trick is to place the onigiri in the microwave for 15-20 seconds to help soften & fluff the rice again.
TIPS + TRICKS FROM CHEF CHRISTINE:
- The key to shaping the ongiri is to press the rice together firmly like pressing something into a ring mold. Otherwise when you start to shape it into a triangle the onigiri will fall apart. Other options for shaping include using a ring mold or cookie cutter. You could also purchase an onigiri mold at a Japanese specialty store.
- Make an advanced version by mixing the beef jerky with corn nuts, shrimp chips & kewpie mayo and stuff it into the center of the white rice rather than mixing it with the rice to make a filled onigiri.