A Party Platter of All Things Rice, Fermented Foods & Seaweed.
The party platter of my dreams: rice, rice and more rice. Throw in all the nori and fermented foods you can find and I’m pretty much set for life. (those potatoes aren’t half bad either)
What better way to compliment my SeaSnax nori than to pair it with copious amounts of jasmine rice, kimchi, avocado and SPICY CHILE BACON?!
Mother in Law’s gochujang sauce is a perfect marinade for basically a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g (omg tofu and veggies on the BBQ), it also makes a quick kimchi if you’re in the mood and don’t have any of the fermented stuff in the fridge. I’ve been giving my thinly sliced tempeh a rub down with the concentrated chile sauce (I add some soy sauce too) and it makes for some kick ass bacon, to pan fry.
*Everyone, from your your doctors to your neighbors, is always telling you to eat more fermented foods (mine are at least). The probiotics in fermented foods are good for gut health, and are a natural and inexpensive way to boost your immune system.
If you’re going to eat all the fermented things, you might as well do it in the most delicious way possible, right?
You can peek at all the different ways I make onigiri and all the details on how to make onigiri (rice balls) by clicking here and jumping back a few posts.
I’m using this beautiful Lotus Rice today, for both my onigiri and onigirazu. I’ve been a fan of Lotus rice and their noodles for a long time, since I discovered them at the co-op in Brattleboro, Vermont (also where I discovered SeaSnax!). Check out how they’re doing better for the environment, and read about their More Crop Per Drop method (and a lot of other great things) on their website – Lotus Foods.
Using the onigiri mold makes the onigiri process SO much quicker, as I discussed in my previous post. It’s not necessary, but I love using it and it’s also something that the kids can help with (if you want them to help of course).
I made some onigiri seasoned with homemade furikake (recipe is in the onigiri post), a few stuffed with a dollop of the fermented chile [garlic] sauce, and then some pan fried with sesame oil, soy sauce and sesame seeds – called yaki onigiri. The crispiness you get on the pan fried onigiri is incredible/ drool worthy. Everyone I’ve made these for is a little skeptical at first because they look pretty plain, but once they take the first bite they’re hooked.
An easy way for people to tell which onigiri is which, is by the way you wrap them with the nori. In this instance, I did a criss cross wrap for the ones I stuffed with the chile sauce so people would know, and the others were furikake seasoned.
*Also, it’s important to remember that when you’re making onigiri with something other than sushi rice, as in this case I used the jade pearl rice, jasmine rice and red rice, you’re not going to have the same stickiness that you get with the glutinous sushi rice. I recommend wrapping the onigiri completely or at least halfway with the nori so that it has less chance of falling apart while you and whoever else is eating it. I always add a tablespoon of sushi vinegar per cup of dry sushi rice, but it still won’t replicate the glue like consistency you get with sushi rice. You could add a bit extra vinegar if you’re mixing the rice and it doesn’t seem to be holding together well! – just a tablespoon at a time though.
I used the Lotus jasmine rice for the yaki onigiri and the flavor combination of the fragrant rice and the toasted sesame oil was delectable.
This is what the yaki onigiri looks when it comes out of the pan –
Wait for them to cool before you wrap them!
A few of my onigiri fell apart while I was pan frying them, but once the rice was finished getting thoroughly crispy, I let it cool enough so that I could reshape it into triangles (or balls, whatever you prefer). Problem solved. Definitely wrap these all the way around, since they’re more delicate than the rest, even when made with sushi rice.
Dipping your finger in water and pressing on the nori where you want it to stick will “glue” the nori together. I always keep a small bowl of water nearby when doing this part.
On to the onigirazu –
Get your Sea Snax raw nori ready! I’ll forever be driving home the fact that a good quality raw nori makes this process infinitely easier (no flaking and crumbling when you’re folding your nori).
I’m using Mother in Law’s white kimchi, avocado, raw red cabbage, tempeh bacon that I marinated in the MIL fermented chile [garlic] sauce and jasmine rice, for this first sushi sandwich.
You can check out my original post and the step by step details on how to by clicking here.
Everything gets layered neatly, (it’s all about practice) and then the nori gets enveloped around the rice.
Plastic wrap will be your friend here; unfortunately I don’t know another way to wrap these without it! If you can think of something zero-waste, send me a message ;).
Leaving your sushi sandwich in the wrap for a few minutes will soften the nori and make it easier to cut.
Slice through and serve!
Take two for the jasmine rice onigirazu, I used more MIL chile sauce [sesame], and layered it with cucumbers, peaches, avocado and (more) tempeh bacon, because you can never have too much bacon. O M G this sauce is killer. I’ve been eating it spooned into my bowls of rice with a splash of soy sauce and it’s all I need. Wow.
The jasmine rice worked so well for the onigirazu! I highly recommend trying it out.
When making onigirazu, I always make sure to hit on some important notes: spicy, savory, crunchy and sweet.
You could use mango instead of peaches, if it’s closer to seasonal where you live. I’m a big fan of mango in my sushi and my onigirazu.
You can use any of the gochujang sauces as a marinade, dressing, a dip, even as a soup base.
I love mixing it with cucumbers for a quick kimchi!
A spoonful of whichever MIL gochujang sauce is your favorite, a splash of soy sauce, one half lemon or lime squeezed and a few pinches of sesame seeds (or toasted and chopped peanuts) is all you need to dress up a bowl of chopped cucumbers. If you want, you can also add some minced ginger, or if you don’t have minced you can put a 1 inch knob of fresh ginger through a press or a juicer and use the juice. I love the flavor of fresh ginger with cucumbers.
When you have these great staples in your pantry, it’s so easy to come up with something creative.
Send me a message if you have any suggestions on what to work with next!
I’ve been doing so many savory things, I’m thinking about going back to something sweet, like a cashew cheese cake next…
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