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Seared Salmon Onigiri

Published on 10/03/2023 by Umamiology
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The seared flakes of salmon in creamy Japanese mayo, and the warm toasted crust of rice really make this Seared Salmon Onigiri recipe special. Accented with a dusting of furikake seasoning and delightful strip of nori makes this one snack that you just can’t put down.

There is nothing like the warmth and umami that comes with seared salmon. Maybe that’s why it’s one of the most popular sushi nigiri choices – and why it remains a staple at most sushi restaurants.

If you’ve ever had seared salmon sushi, you’ll know how delectable and melt-in-your mouth this morsel can be – and that same flavor experience is what you’ll get with this Seared Salmon Onigiri recipe.

What is Onigiri?

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It’s a Japanese word that literally translates to “grasp” or “squeeze” but in this context, it’s a tasty ball or cone of rice (traditionally in Japanese cuisine), stuffed with all kinds of delicious fillings, and often with an outer wrap of nori (seaweed).

It’s kind of like the Japanese version of a sandwich and it’s the perfect on-the-go food because of how easy it is to hold and eat, especially for busy people on the move or young kids.

The Ingredients for Seared Salmon Onigiri

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Scroll down to the recipe card for exact measurements and directions.

The Equipment Needed

Cooking The Perfect Rice

The art of cooking the perfect rice for your Onigiri is key.

Start by rinsing your rice at least 3 times under cold running water – to eliminate the starch and any other foreign particles from the grains.

Umamiology-Seared-Salmon-Onigiri-Process-Shot12

If you have a rice cooker, simply cook the rice following your rice cooker’s instructions.

If you don’t, or would rather like to do this on your stovetop, then add your 2 cups of rinsed rice into your pot with just enough water to pass the finger test.

For the finger test, you take your pointer finger, place it into the pot with your rice, and set it just on top of the rice line. Then add just enough water so that the water line reaches the first segment line on your pointer finger.

Then cover the pot with a lid (if your lid does not have a steam valve, leave the lid slightly cracked open) and bring it to a boil, cooking at high heat.

Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 25 minutes (cooking time may vary based on your pot’s size).

You will know when your rice is done, when all of the water has been absorbed and the rice kernels looks tender and chewy.

When the rice is fully cooked, scoop into a large mixing bowl and let rest.

Seasoning the Rice

Prepare 1/4 cup of store bought sushi rice seasoning.

Or if you’d like to make the sushi rice seasoning yourself – then combine rice vinegar, sugar, salt and the sesame oil in a pot and bring to a low boil – for about 5-10 minutes until the sugar and salt have completely dissolved. Let it stand and cool for about 10 minutes (should become just slightly warm).

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Drizzle the sushi rice seasoning liquid into your mixing bowl of cooked rice while stirring gently. Keep stirring until the wet combination of the seasoning liquid and the rice eventually transform into a sticky rice mixture.

Putting It All Together

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Take your sushi grade salmon and dice into tiny squares.

Mix in the kewpie mayo, sesame oil and a tablespoon of furikake until the salmon is fully coated.

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Spread the salmon mixture onto a flat tray (lined with aluminum foil), and using your cooking torch, carefully sear the salmon by directly applying the flame. Keep the flame at least 2 inches away from the filling and make sure you “fan” the torch across the salmon with continuous movement – so you don’t accidentally burn any one spot of the filling.

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Using your Onigiri press, lay down a layer of the onigiri rice to form the back of the onigiri. Then ladle in a spoonful of the salmon mixture – leaving a small area of rice along the edge of the onigiri (this is to adhere to the other half of the onigiri rice).

Then cover with more rice and press down firmly to seal the onigiri.

Flip the onigiri press upside down onto a plate and use the press to extract the onigiri onto the plate.

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Wrap a nori strip at the bottom of the onigiri and dust the edges of the rice with furikake.

In a frying pan, add a light layer of sesame oil, and toast the front and back of the onigiri.

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Lastly, coat the edges of the toasted onigiri with a layer of furikake.

Plate and serve!

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Seared Salmon Onigiri

5 from 7 votes
The seared flakes of salmon in creamy Japanese mayo, and the warm toasted crust of rice really make this Seared Salmon Onigiri recipe special. Accented with a dusting of furikake seasoning and delightful strip of nori makes this one snack that you just can't put down.
Author: Umamiology
Servings: 3
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
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Equipment

Ingredients 

Instructions 

Cooking The Perfect Rice

  • The art of cooking the perfect rice for your Seared Salmon Onigiri is key.
  • Start by rinsing your rice at least 3 times under cold running water – to eliminate the starch and any other foreign particles from the grains.
  • If you have a rice cooker, simply cook the rice following your rice cooker's instructions.
  • If you don't, or would rather like to do this on your stovetop, then add your 2 cups of rinsed rice into your pot with just enough water to pass the finger test.
  • For the finger test, you take your pointer finger, place it into the pot with your rice, and set it just on top of the rice line. Then add just enough water so that the water line reaches the first segment line on your pointer finger.
  • Then cover the pot with a lid (if your lid does not have a steam valve, leave the lid slightly cracked open) and bring it to a boil, cooking at high heat.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 25 minutes (cooking time may vary based on your pot's size).
  • You will know when your rice is done, when all of the water has been absorbed and the rice kernels looks tender and chewy.
  • When the rice is fully cooked, scoop into a large mixing bowl and let rest.

Seasoning the Rice

  • Prepare 1/4 cup of store bought sushi rice seasoning.
  • Or if you'd like to make the sushi rice seasoning yourself – then combine rice vinegar, sugar, salt and the sesame oil in a pot and bring to a low boil – for about 5-10 minutes until the sugar and salt have completely dissolved. Let it stand and cool for about 10 minutes (should become just slightly warm).
  • Drizzle the sushi rice seasoning liquid into your mixing bowl of cooked rice while stirring gently. Keep stirring until the wet combination of the seasoning liquid and the rice eventually transform into a sticky rice mixture.

Putting It All Together

  • Take your sushi grade salmon and dice into tiny squares.
  • Mix in the kewpie mayo, sesame oil and a tablespoon of furikake until the salmon is fully coated.
  • Spread the salmon mixture onto a flat tray (lined with aluminum foil), and using your cooking torch, carefully sear the salmon by directly applying the flame. Keep the flame at least 2 inches away from the filling and make sure you "fan" the torch across the salmon with continuous movement – so you don't accidentally burn any one spot of the filling.
  • Using your Onigiri press, lay down a layer of the onigiri rice to form the back of the onigiri. Then ladle in a spoonful of the salmon mixture – leaving a small area of rice along the edge of the onigiri (this is to adhere to the other half of the onigiri rice).
  • Then cover with more rice and press down firmly to seal the onigiri.
  • Flip the onigiri press upside down onto a plate and use the press to extract the onigiri onto the plate.
  • Wrap a nori strip at the bottom of the onigiri and dust the edges of the rice with furikake.
  • In a frying pan, add a light layer of sesame oil, and toast the front and back of the onigiri.
  • Lastly, coat the edges of the toasted onigiri with a layer of furikake.
  • Plate and serve!

Notes

*Nutritional information is just an estimate derived by an online calculation tool.

Nutrition

Calories: 610kcalCarbohydrates: 113gProtein: 17gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 142mgPotassium: 305mgFiber: 3gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 17IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 2mg

*Nutritional information is just an estimate derived by an online calculation tool.

FAQ

What is a good filling for Onigiri?

Spicy Tuna Filling or Seared Salmon Filling are both great options for Onigiri.

Should you eat onigiri warm or cold?

You can lightly toast the onigiri in a frying pan, if you’d like it warm. But you could just as easily eat it cold – it’s good either way!

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