Yuta Katsuyama of the virtual restaurant Onigiri Shuttle Kororin wants to clear something up: Though sushi chefs may season their rice with vinegar, the rice for Japan’s iconic onigiri — a whole genre of crisp, triangular handheld snacks — is best left plain. This neutral quality provides a blank canvas for unlimited flavor combinations, like the version here, which gets its umami-packed oomph courtesy of a sauce made from negi (green onion), awase (a combination of red and white miso), ginger paste, and mirin (sweet rice wine). All ingredients are available at H Mart.
Active time:40 minutes
Total time:40 minutes
4 cupsSteamed Japanese short-grain rice, cooled until it can be handled1¼ tsp.Sesame oil2 Tbsp.Awase miso paste (Katsuyama recommends Marukome brand)1Green onion (green part only), thinly sliced¾ tsp.Ginger paste¼ tsp.Sugar1½ Tbsp.Mirin½ tsp.Sesame seeds¼Soy sauce4Nori sheets Shichimi togarashi
In a large bowl, mix rice and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. To make the negi miso paste, combine the remaining sesame oil, miso, green onion, ginger paste, sugar, mirin, sesame seeds, and soy sauce in a small bowl.
Oil a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium. Put a quarter of the rice into your palm and form it into a triangle approximately 3 inches high. (Reduce sticking by using plastic wrap to help shape the rice.) Repeat to make three more onigiri. Spread a quarter of the miso paste over the top of each.
Place onigiri in the skillet, miso side up, and cook until rice turns golden, about 4 minutes. Flip onigiri onto one edge and cook until lightly browned; repeat on other two edges. Turn onigiri miso side down and cook until paste darkens and crisps, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, wrap with nori, and sprinkle with shichimi togarashi to taste.