It is one of my favorite past times to recreate delicious foods that are cooked and maybe not that healthy or life promoting as raw variations! I’m not one to choose a recipe based solely off its looks as I feel the texture, taste and appearance have to be there! Well, the recipe I’ve got here is pretty close and despite not being as sticky or completely white, it’s a pretty satisfying raw alternative:
If you’re familiar with Japanese culture, cuisine or animation, onigiri will be a familiar site!
There are a few different ways to make onigiri depending on the place from Japan you hail from or want to mimic thought by far the most popular is the triangular rice shape with the strip of nori! There can be a filling inside of umeboshi plum, salmon, or other kinds of meat and vegetables (or no filling at all!). There can also be different shapes, flavored rice, nori designs or cover the whole rice ball in nori and a few other onigiri designs- you can find out more here at “just bento.”
Is this technically onigiri? Probably not! But it’s a gluten free and healthy, fun, adorable alternative if you don’t eat rice in any form! 🙂
Here’s the recipe:
1/4 cup ground white chia or ground golden flax (the darker colors will still work but it won’t look as aesthetically pleasing) 🙂
1 cup food processed white cauliflower, celeriac, parsnip, or daikon (depending on what you like best or availability)
1 clove garlic (optional)
1/4 cup pine nuts (preferred, though soaked and rinsed sunflower seeds will work as well)
1 tbsp. coconut oil (optional)
Umeboshi plums (fermented plums)
Chopped and marinated vegetables like carrots, shiitake mushroom, spinach, burdock- your choice 🙂
You will put about 1/2 tsp inside the onigiri or mix about 1 cup of diced veggies into the rice mix
For the marinade: 2 tbsp each of: soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, Optional maple syrup or yacon syrup
1 sheet raw dehydrated nori 🙂
1. If necessary, chop or dice the vegetables and marinate them for 30 minutes or more.
2. Mix the rice (garlic, vegetable, and nuts) in the food processor.
3. Mix in the ground chia and coconut oil (if using) to the food processor.
4. If the mixture is crumbly, add about 1 tsp. of water until the “rice” is sticky but not so much so it can’t be handled (I.e. you want it sticky but not so much so that if you touch it the mixture is sticking to your fingers or counter surfaces).
5.a. If you’re mixing the flavor into the rice, mix that in either by hand or through the food processor. If you’re making a center flavoring instead, skip this step. 🙂
6. Shape your onigiri- some shapes are triangle, circle, cone, oval and there are onigiri molds you can use if you have them or care to invest! if you’re placing the vegetable flavor into the center, then begin to roll the shape you like and before solidifying the shape, press the vegetable into the center then cover it with “rice.” 🙂 *Make your nigiri about 2″ in size (like the triangle is 2″ on each side).
7. If you’re using nori (seaweed), then cut the nori into about 1.5 or 2 inch by 3 inch strips or enough to cover your onigiri. You may have to judge the size of your nori strips depending on how small or large you make your onigiri, how much you want to cover your onigiri or if you want to use cut outs of onigiri to make the appearance more exciting:
8. If you like, you can warm in the dehydrator for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. If the texture becomes too dry, spray with water. Otherwise, ENJOY! 🙂
I hope you enjoy my raw take on onigiri!
Also pictured is just avocado shaped like onigiri with the nori wrap- that is a very easy variation as well 😉
Enjoy! Namaste! 🙂