Easy to cook, practical to take away without any problem, impressive to present (for a meal where you receive, a picnic, or to dazzle your colleagues at the lunch break), these burgers-makis are eaten fresh, which makes them makes it perfect for summer, and more if you like.
In the series “Anthony can’t help telling his life story when he talks about food”, after the red onion pickles that change my transit, then my love of flowers that motivate the creation of mocktails, here are my difficulties to think about eating.
When I was little, I went on hunger strikes as a demonstration when I disagreed with my parents. When my mother wanted me to eat horse meat, I gave myself a sign ” No to hippophagy on my bedroom door and refused to come out for hours. Or I would make myself vomit on command when I was forced to go to the gym. In short, I was already
insupportable a little activist, and unsurprisingly, I have since had a troubled relationship with food.
In my career as a journalist, I was a freelancer for a long time: I worked from home for several newsrooms, managing my schedule as I saw fit, without an office with a space dedicated to the lunch break. Suddenly, I forgot all the time to eat, too busy slaving away. The pandemic-related lockdowns haven’t helped my troubled eating, so unless I’m working face-to-face at Madmoizelle (where, as soon as someone mentions food, my ears perk up because: my body has need food to function, in fact), I still often skip food.
Against this, I frequently set myself alarms on my phone, and especially I invite people to lunch, because if I love cooking for others, it depresses me terribly to cook just for me. Against this last point, I often indulge in recipes whose process seems fun to me : make wraps filled with lots of colorful stuff, mocktails with lots of ingredients that are still floating in them, or even the most aesthetically pleasing spring rolls possible. And my latest find to make me want to cook for myself and think about eating is onigirazu!
What is an onigirazu, this delicious, fresh, and easy to transport “burger-maki”?
It is a kind of Japanese rice sandwich, found in many street-food shops in Asia and beyond.which could be roughly summarized as a perfect mix between maki, onigiri and burger (I also had my bao-burger period, but it’s much longer and more complicated, so I won’t even tell you) .
Onigirazu is quick and easy to cook, visually appetizing, can be kept for a few days in the fridge, and above all practical to transport. for lunch at the office (and show off in front of his colleagues with his lunch box) or a picnic. Like that eaten cold, it’s all the more enjoyable when you don’t necessarily want to enjoy something hot, which often happens in summer for example.
Basically, the result layer by layer gives: nori sheet, rice, garnishes (carrot, cucumber, baby spinach, delicious curry-mango tofu from Taifun, and red onion pickles, that’s what I do all the time for example), re-rice, and re-nori.
Anyway, let’s come to the preparation of onigirazu.
The basic ingredients for 4 onigirazus
- 400 grams of sushi rice
- 60ml or 4 tbsp rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar which also works)
- 2 tablespoons of sweetener (white, cane, coconut sugar, xylithol, honey, maple or agave syrup: the sweetener that suits you, what)
- 1 teaspoon salt (or soy sauce, or tamari)
- Raw vegetables of your choice (avocado, carrot, cucumber, red cabbage, and lettuce for example)
- Proteins (tofu, white or red beans or crushed chickpeas, or eggs cooked in an omelet, for example)
- Plastic cling film such as cellophane or bee’s wrap
Easily succeed in sushi rice, cooking and seasoning
First, we choose good Japanese rice (It’s easily found in Asian or organic shops, or in the “world cuisine” section of conventional convenience stores): its high starch content helps it become just the right amount of stickiness. Alternatively, risotto rice can do the trick. Otherwise, basmati rice can help out, but don’t come crying if it doesn’t hold up well.
Then we wash it at least 3 times. In a large bowl, put your rice and rub it roughly between your hands, pouring water over it, then empty the water, before repeating the operation two more times. People who don’t wash their rice, I can’t trust them, I don’t want to know anything.
Then, the washed and coarsely drained rice is transferred to a saucepan to cover it with 400 ml of water. (if you’re too lazy to measure: cover the rice + 1 knuckle of water, or count 4 volumes of water for 4 volumes of rice). Cook it covered over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat. Once cooked, it is important to let it rest with its lid on for another 10 minutes!
While the rice rests, take the opportunity to prepare the seasoning. Basically, 4 tablespoons of vinegar (as I am a
stingy king of optimization, I take the juice from my pickles, it gives a rosy tint to the rice, I love it), 2 tablespoons of sweetener, 1 teaspoon of salt (or a tablespoon of soy sauce or tamari) to mix over low heat for 2-3 minutes.
We then decant the rested rice into a large dish (gratin dish type) or a salad bowl in order to pour the vinegar seasoning over it and mix it with a large flat spatula, while helping it to cool, and it is ready ! If you have successfully cooked your rice, the hardest part is now behind you.
The steps to make onigirazus
Prepare the fillings so that they fit well in a flat sandwich. So cut into strips what would benefit from it: your raw vegetables (cucumber, carrots, red cabbage, pickles, avocado), your proteins (legumes, tofu, omelet, marinated raw fish or others), and anything that makes you want others.
Spread cling film (cellophane) or your bee’s wrap on your work surface a little larger than the size of your seaweed sheet. Place your nori on top. In the center of it (about 1/4 of the surface), place a layer of rice, then a bit of all your toppings. Then close with another layer of rice. Then, fold the nori over the top of your rice sandwich. It doesn’t need to be perfectly folded because you will then enclose the whole thing tightly in cellophane or bee’s wrap. The goal: that the humidity of the fillings and the rice “seals” the nori, so that it does not unfold once unwrapped from the cling film.
Once your little onigirazu has been made, it is important to let it rest in its film for at least 15 minutes. for the magic to work. And it’s ready to eat! All you have to do is remove the film and cut it in half to reveal the inside.
2 videos to better visualize how to successfully cook onigirazus
To better visualize how to cook onigirazusthis video of the Vegetarian and gourmet YouTuber is particularly educational and inspiring (note the technique of using a quarter of nori seaweed as a guide to know what place our filling can occupy during the making of the onigirazu).
Otherwise, this video from Chez Jigmé goes much faster on the confection side, but gives other ideas for fillings if you wish:
Now it’s up to you to enjoy!
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The Loewe house grows clothes like green plants or chia pets, and it’s fascinating
Photo credit: © YouTube screenshot Chez Jigmé.