Whip up a delicious Japanese style picnic!
Rachael Hutchings shares her recipe for Onigirazu.
Tuna Avocado Basil Onigirazu
1/2 California avocado, cut into thin slices
3 ounces albacore tuna fish, drained
2 sheets nori (Japanese seaweed used for rolling sushi)
1 1/3 cups steamed Japanese medium grain rice (often labeled Calrose rice or sushi rice)
Fine grain sea salt
1 sprig fresh Thai basil (you can substitute regular basil if you can’t find Thai basil)
Extra seasoning suggestions:lemon juice, siracha or mayonnaise,
1. Cut the avocado into thin slices and brush with the juice of the lemon. Set aside. If you want to season the tuna, put it in a small bowl and mix in whatever seasonings you want, then set it aside.
2. Lay out a square of plastic wrap that is larger than the sheets of nori on a clean work surface. Put one sheet of the nori, rough side facing up, with one of the corners pointing towards you, on top of the plastic wrap.
3. Put 1/3 cup of the steamed rice in the middle of the plastic wrap and spread it out into a square that measures approximately 4 inches by 4 inches and lightly pat it down. (Shape the square so that the corners are pointing towards the sides of the nori, not the corners of the nori.) Sprinkle the rice with a pinch of salt.
4. Place half of the tuna fish on top of the rice, half of the avocado slices on top of the tuna, and half of the basil leaves on top of the avocado, pressing down lightly as you add each layer. Add another 1/3 cup of the steamed rice to the top of the stack, and sprinkle the rice with another pinch of salt.
5. Starting with the left corner of the nori, bring it up and over the rice stack and hold it with your finger. Take the right corner of the nori and fold it so that it overlaps slightly with the first corner. Continue folding with the bottom and top corners until the rice stack is completely wrapped in the nori. Set it aside for 5 minutes.
6. Repeat steps 2 through 5 with the remaining ingredients. At this point the onigirazu are ready to eat or be packed into a bento. If you want them to be more visually appealing, carefully unwrap them and cut them in half with a sharp knife, then wrap each half separately in plastic wrap.
*Recipe Notes: Letting the onigirazu sit for several minutes before cutting into them will make this step easier because the nori will hold together better. You can also pack the cut halves without wrapping them in plastic wrap, but I find that plastic wrap protects the halves from things like kids dropping their lunchbox, etc.
Find more recipes at www.lafujimama.com.