Active time: 15 minutes Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
A staple of Japanese “conbini” convenience stores, these fun nori seaweed-wrapped rice balls are a great way to use canned tuna fish when ho-hum tuna salad sandwiches are played out. Serve with low-sodium soy sauce, for dipping, if desired.
Note: Cooking times for short-grain brown rice vary, refer to the cooking instructions on the package. Ideally, the rice for onigiri should be a bit overcooked to make it easier to compact, so add a few minutes to the cooking time listed in the package instructions.
Canned Tuna Onigiri
- 1 1/4 cups (225g) brown sushi rice
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 (5-ounce/142g) can tuna, drained
- 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
- 1 green onion, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 sheets toasted nori seaweed, cut into 4-by-2-inch (10-by-5cm) strips
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, for dipping
Place the rice, 2 cups (473ml) of water and 1 pinch salt in a medium saucepan and bring to boil over high heat. Cover pan, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes or as long as listed on the package instructions without peeking. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand with the lid on for 15 minutes. The rice should be well-cooked, and sticky with a slight chewiness. Add the vinegar, stir, and let stand uncovered until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes.
Line a small (1/2 cup/118ml capacity) ramekin with plastic wrap, using enough that 4 inches (10cm) hang over the sides. Scoop 2 heaping tablespoons of rice into the ramekin, top with 1 heaping teaspoon of the tuna mixture. Top with another heaping tablespoon of the rice and spread to cover the tuna. Bring the edges of the plastic up over the rice and twist the ends together to create a little beggar’s purse, compacting the rice into balls.
Unwrap the rice ball and place in the center of a nori piece. Bring the sides up to cover the bottom half of the rice ball and press gently to adhere. (You may need to moisten the ends of the nori with a damp finger to get it to stick to the rice.) Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients to make 10 rice balls. Reserve the remaining tuna for another use.
Serve the onigiri with the soy sauce within an hour or refrigerate them, tightly wrapped in plastic, for up to two days. Let cold onigiri stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Serves: 5 | Serving Size: 2 rice balls, 1 1/4 teaspoons soy sauce
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 188; Total Fat: 3g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 9mg; Sodium: 397mg; Carbohydrate: 37g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 8g