The Japanese leek and miso paste used in this onigiri has a variety of uses. It can be prepared in advance and kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can serve this paste simply with rice, topped over grilled deep-fried bean curd (aburaage), as a dip for vegetables or even stir-fried with vegetables and meat. I add quite a lot of ginger to this recipe as it has plenty of health benefi ts and I love the taste of ginger. The skin of the ginger contains lots of nutrients and fl avour. For this recipe, use ginger with the skin intact. And if you can fi nd it, I recommend using organic ginger as it is free from pesticides and chemicals, making the skin safe for consumption.
- Yield: 4
- 17 oz (480 g) Cooked Japanese short grain rice
- 1 tbsp Toasted white sesame
- 1 tsp Salt
- Vegetable oil for pan-frying
- 3 oz (80 g) Japanese leek (naga negi) 1, about, finely chopped
- 5 cm Ginger (2-in) knob, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Miso paste
- ½ Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)
- 1 tbsp Mirin
- 7 spice seasoning (shichimi togarashi) a dash
- 1 Bonito flakes
- Make negi-miso paste. Heat oil in a frying pan and sauté leek and ginger until fragrant. Add miso paste, soy sauce and mirin and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add seven-spice seasoning and bonito flakes and mix well. Set aside.
- Scoop rice into a separate bowl and mix in sesame seeds.
- To make onigiri, scoop one-quarter of the rice mixture into a rice bowl. Make a 2-cm (1-in) indentation in the rice with your fi nger and add 1 tsp negi-miso paste.
- Wet your hands and spread a pinch of salt on your palms and fi ngers. Transfer rice to your hands and gently press rice 2–3 times into your preferred shape. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.