This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Mushroom and Salmon Onigiri with Pickles

Food

This month we’re thrilled to welcome Julia Busuttil Nishimura to Tasty Tuesday once more, this time with her husband, Norihiko (Nori) Nishimura!  Both passionate foodies, this month Julia and Nori share with us four of their favourite Japanese dishes to cook at home, kicking off with two versions of a classic Japanese snack food, onigiri!

7th October, 2014

Mushroom and Salmon Onigiri ingredients.  Recipe – Julia Busuttil Nishimura & Norihiko Nishimura, Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull, photo – Eve Wilson.

Mushroom and Salmon Onigiri with Pickles.  Recipe – Julia Busuttil Nishimura & Norihiko Nishimura, Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull, photo – Eve Wilson.

Norihiko demonstrates rolling mushroom onigiri! (Julia says, try rolling yours in glad wrap if you struggle with bare hands).  Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull, photo – Eve Wilson.

Salmon, nori and rice ready to roll!  Recipe – Julia Busuttil Nishimura & Norihiko Nishimura, Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull, photo – Eve Wilson.

Julia and Nori at home in Melbourne. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Julia Busuttil Nishimura & Norihiko Nishimura
Tuesday 7th October 2014

If you’ve ever been to Japan you have probably come across onigiri, most likely in a convenience store! Onigiri are rice balls filled with a variety of ingredients and formed into shapes such as triangles or ovals. They are classically filled with things like umeboshi (pickled plum), salted salmon and kombu, but nowadays, there are hundreds of different varieties.

Onigiri was created centuries ago to make rice easy to eat and portable. Basically, onigiri is the original Japanese picnic food! They are a fantastic alternative to sandwiches for kids’ lunches, and also make perfect snacks.

We’ve made two varieties, one where you flavour the rice with dashi, soy, sake and mushrooms, and the other, a classic onigiri of plain rice and salted salmon. The tip is to work with the rice while it’s warm, and make sure you have wet hands, so the rice doesn’t stick to them. Also, only wrap the rice in the nori when you are ready to eat them, as it goes soggy really quickly. We eat ours with quick pickles of whatever vegetables we have around, umeboshi, and for a complete lunch, some warming miso soup.

Ingredients (serves 4 - 6)

For the mushroom onigiri

  • 2 cups short grain rice
  • 380ml dashi stock
  • 30ml cooking sake
  • 30ml soy sauce
  • 200g Shimeji mushrooms, ends trimmed and roughly torn
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 1tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

For the salmon onigiri

  • 2 cups short grain rice
  • 200g piece of salmon, pin boned
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

To serve

  • Toasted nori sheets, cut into 4cm strips

For the daikon pickle

  • 1 small daikon
  • 25ml rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cooking sake

For the cucumber pickle

  • 1 continental cucumber
  • 1 long red chili, sliced
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp miso paste
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar

METHOD

For the mushroom onigiri

Rinse the rice in a colander under running water; agitate the grains with your hands as you rinse them. In a medium saucepan, combine the rice, dashi stock, sake and soy and mix well. Lay the mushrooms on top of the rice and leave to soak for 30 minutes before turning on the heat. This helps the rice to stick together a little easier. Bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook until all water has been absorbed (approximately 15 minutes) and remove from heat. Leave covered for a further 5 minutes and add spring onions to slightly cooled rice and season to taste with salt. Once the rice is cool enough to handle, you can begin to shape your onigiri.

To shape onigiri, wet your hands with cold water, take a large spoonful of rice and place in the palm of your hand. Cup your hands slightly and use one hand to rotate the onigiri and the other to cup it until you have a firm triangle. Try and work fast to avoid the rice sticking to your hand – if this does happen, you can dip your hand in water again. (If it proves to difficult or sticky with bare hands, try forming your onigiri inside a sheet of glad wrap).  Repeat with remaining rice and serve warm or at room temperature.

For the salmon onigiri

Rinse the rice in a colander under running water; agitate the grains with your hands as you rinse them. In a medium saucepan, add rice and 450ml water. Leave to sit for 30 in the pot before turning on the heat. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook until all water has been absorbed (approximately 15 minutes) and remove from heat. Leave covered for a further 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, season salmon generously with salt and cook until salmon is golden, turning once (2-3 minutes each side). Flake into bite-size pieces.

Season cooked rice with a little salt, remembering that the salmon has salt too. Wait until the rice is just cool enough to handle and then you can begin to shape.

To shape the onigiri, wet your hands with cold water and take a large spoonful of rice and place in the palm of your hand. Flatten the rice out and make an indentation in the center. Place a piece of the flaked salmon in the indentation and carefully enclose the rice around the salmon. At this stage, you may need to add a small amount of rice to cover any gaps. Cup your hands slightly and use one hand to rotate the onigiri and the other to cup it until you have a firm triangle. Just before serving, wrap the onigiri in a strip of nori and serve warm or at room temperature.

For the daikon pickle

Half the daikon lengthways, and then thinly slice to make semi circles. Combine the remaining ingredients in a non-reactive container or zip-lock bag and add the sliced daikon, mixing to coat. Leave to pickle in the fridge overnight. The longer it pickles, the more intense the flavour will be.

For the cucumber pickle

Roughly chop or slice the cucumber. Combine the remaining ingredients in a non-reactive container or zip-locked bag and add the chopped cucumber, mixing to coat. Leave to pickle in the fridge overnight. If you prefer the cucumber crunchy and crisp, use sooner as the longer the cucumber stays pickling, the softer it will become.

Similar Stories

Food

Okonomiyaki

This afternoon Julia Busuttil Nishimura & Norihiko Nishimura are back with one of Japan’s most distinctive and popular dishes ...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura & Norihiko Nishimura

Food

Ochazuke with marinated tuna

Ochazuke is quite a traditional dish, quickly prepared in the home with left over rice and fish or just pickles or shiso flakes, and for thi...
Julia Busuttil Nishmura & Nori Nishimura

Food

Pork and Cabbage Gyoza

Basically, we just wish Julia Busuttil Nishimura & Nori Nishimura could be our Tasty Tuesday contributors EVERY month.  They have been...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura & Nori Nishimura

This Week

At Home With Sheridan

The Minimalist Inner-City Sanctuary Of Skincare Guru James Vivian + Ben Esakoff

A Prahran Edwardian cottage meets a minimalist architectural addition, with exposed materials, an impressive art collection, and textured Sh...
Lucy Feagins
  18 hours ago

Homes

An Artist’s Spanish Mission Home In Newcastle

The recently-renovated home of artist Annie Everingham and family feels like a piece of California… in Newcastle!

Food

Julia's Handmade Strozzapreti With Tiny Meatballs

Julia Busuttil Nishimura shares a recipe from her new cookbook 'Around The Table' – an instant family favourite!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

On The Market

For Sale: An Ultimate Sydney Dream Home, With Waterfront Views

This new Balmain family home has it all - a resort-style backyard, swimming pool, gym, steam room, home theatre, and it's for sale!
Christina Karras

Art

Announcing The Winners Of The 2022 Telstra NATSIAA!

See the winners and finalists from the most prestigious award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, the 2022 Telstra NATSIAA!

News

Nicole Lawrence Studio And Curio Practice Pop Up In Sydney

The two rising design stars open the doors to their week-long shop and showroom in Paddington.
Bea Taylor
  9 hours ago

Interiors

The Colourful, Creative Home Of Adelaide Designers, Daniel + Emma

The renovated home of Daniel To and Emma Aiston is perfectly playful, complete with a charming yellow kitchen, and plenty of personality!
Christina Karras

News

Bid On Spectacular Contemporary Art From Australia's Best At The IMA's Benefit Auction!

Snap up works from award-winning artists thanks to the Institute of Modern Art Brisbane’s glamorous annual gala and online auction!
Christina Karras

News

Treat Yourself To A Better Sleep With DOMO's Epic Bed Promotion

Now’s your chance to upgrade to your dream bed – DOMO are offering 20% off all King and Queen beds in stock!
Sponsored

Studio Visit

Inside Bianca Pintan's Vividly Colourful Ceramic Practice!

The Brazilian-born artist now works and lives in Byron Bay, pushing the boundaries with her bold and bright ceramics.
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Contemporary Barn-Style Home On A Working West Gippsland Farm

Green Hills Farm owners Neil and Kristy Plumridge share their barn-inspired West Gippsland home designed by Slap Architects.

News

Local Chef Ella Mittas' First Cookbook Brings Us A Taste Of The Mediterranean

The Greek-Australian chef shares her most delicious recipes and personal essays in Ela! Ela! – To Turkey and Greece, Then Home.
Christina Karras
  12 hours ago

Interiors

A Majestic Garden House That Transcends Aesthetics

The landscape is the mesmerising star of the show in Garden House by Arent&Pyke and Polly Harbison Design.
Amelia Barnes
  10 hours ago

Gardens

A Thoughtful Native Garden Anchoring A ‘Floating’ Home In The Byron Hinterland

Explore the diverse and lush landscaping of Coolamon House, perched on ancient volcano crater with uninterrupted views to the ocean.
Christina Karras

Stays

A Serene Architectural Getaway Overlooking Vineyards In Central Victoria

Barfold Estate's new boutique accommodation is the best kept secret in the Heathcote / Kyneton region – for now!

Similar Stories

Food

Okonomiyaki

This afternoon Julia Busuttil Nishimura & Norihiko Nishimura are back with one of Japan’s most distinctive and popular dishes ...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura & Norihiko Nishimura

Food

Ochazuke with marinated tuna

Ochazuke is quite a traditional dish, quickly prepared in the home with left over rice and fish or just pickles or shiso flakes, and for thi...
Julia Busuttil Nishmura & Nori Nishimura

Food

Pork and Cabbage Gyoza

Basically, we just wish Julia Busuttil Nishimura & Nori Nishimura could be our Tasty Tuesday contributors EVERY month.  They have been...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura & Nori Nishimura

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net