If you want to talk about food hybrid goodness, then you need to turn your attention to “Onigirazu.” What is it, you ask?
Is it a sandwich?
Is it a rice dish?
It is both. A rice sandwich that you can fill with anything your hungry heart desires.
Interesting tidbit: For the most part, the Asian culture does not consider some sandwiches, such as burgers or chicken sandwiches, as full meals because of the lack of rice. Asian cuisine’s closest resemblance of the hamburger is a pork bun or a siopao, which is not a meal but a snack item.
I’m Asian, and a meal is never complete without rice for me. Before I moved to the US, I made sure my husband got us a rice cooker lol. I still kind of find it quite odd that a rice cooker is not very common in American households.
This is my second time making onigirazu, and I got to say, it was way easier than the first. The outcome of my first try was still delicious, but I was so concerned about following the step-by-step instructions and not messing it up that the whole process was so tedious for me. I was just agitated while doing it, and it wasn’t fun at all lol.
Second time’s the charm. I had some leftover baked chicken thighs and freshly cooked rice, so I decided to whip up a quick chicken onigirazu.
Here’s how I did it:
- Lay a large piece of cling film/plastic wrap on a flat surface. Place the nori on top of the plastic.
2. Spread a thin layer of rice into a square shape on the center of the nori.
3. Put your fillings on top of the rice, stacking each item on top of the other, in single, thin layers. Make sure there is no empty space. Aside from the chicken, I put some spinach and tomatoes in my rice sandwich.
4. Spread another thin layer of rice on top of your fillings.
5. Pull the edges of the nori towards the center using the plastic wrap, pressing the nori firmly onto the rice. Peel back the plastic wrap.
6. Seal the onigirazu with the cling wrap, seal side down. Press it down gently so the rice holds its shape. Let it sit for a few minutes.
7. Wet your knife and slice the rice sandwich in half.
8. I drizzled some Andok’s Litson Sauce (yum!!) onto my onigirazu and sprinkled some furikake.
Below is a bonus documented proof of my first onigrazu attempt, a chicken katsu onigirazu. My husky, Mugen was excited to try it haha. Like I mentioned, it was delicious, but it wasn’t as tight as I wanted it to be.
I’ve seen a lot of onigirazu variations with egg, and I can’t wait to try that next time. I want to try transforming the Filipino silog meals into their onigirazu versions. I’ll make that my next kitchen project!