Chopped smoked salmon, black fungus, furikake and toasted sesame seeds were mixed with Japanese rice to make onigiri. Eat one for a snack; more for a full meal. Smoked salmon and furikake onigiri makes a lovely party dish too!
We have so much smoked salmon and we’re trying to get as creative as we can with it. Smoked salmon onigiri has been on my agenda for a while but it was Alex who turned my idea into edible bites. It was her idea too to include chopped black fungus. And it was she who made the furikake.
Furikake, or furikake seasoning, refers to a range of dried, normally mixed seasonings made especially for sprinkling on top of rice. You can get furikake in Japanese groceries and in the Asian section of some regular groceries. We haven’t in a long time because Alex makes it.
But I can’t provide a recipe for the furikake itself because that’s Alex’s trade secret. She sells the stuff. Cheaper and less greasy than the kind you’d get from the grocery.
So, if you want to make smoked salmon and furikake onigiri, you can order from Alex, buy from the grocery or mix your own.
Black fungus is available from the grocery mostly in dried form. Just soak in hot water, drain and chop.
You will also need plenty of sesame seeds. Yes, the furikake already has sesame seeds but you need more to really make the flavors in the onigiri pop. I know it’s tempting to simply use more furikake to get more sesame seeds in the onigiri but too much furikake will overpower the flavor of the smoked salmon.
Alex used a combination of black and white sesame seeds. You may use black only or white only but, whatever your choice, remember to toast them before use. Sesame seeds don’t taste nor smell as good without toasting.
Is it difficult to shape the rice? Well, it does take some practice. I’m bad at shaping onigiri so I was more than a little thankful when Alex volunteered to do it.
Can you just imagine serving a platter of these rice sculptures over the holidays? Thinly slice lettuce and spread on a platter and arrange the onigiri on top.
And guess what? You may prepare this ahead of time and keep the onigiri in the fridge for a couple of hours. Take them out fifteen minutes before your guests arrive and plate them up!
Smoked Salmon and Furikake Onigiri
Rinse the Japanese rice until the water runs clear. Cook in the rice cooker.
While the rice cooks, soak the black fungus in hot water until softened and doubled in volume. Drain and chop.
Take the cooked rice and spread on a tray. Use a fork to fluff it up. Cool completely.
Mix all the ingredients together except for the lettuce.
With wet hands (to prevent the rice from sticking on your skin), shape the rice mixture into balls or flattened triangles (or whatever shape you prefer, really).
Spread the lettuce on a platter.
Arrange the smoked salmon and furikake onigiri on top.
A dipping sauce is not really necessary because the smoked salmon and furikake sufficiently season the onigiri.