Onigiri Shumai Dumplings are ideal as elegant bento box fare or for enjoying with your favorite Japanese tea as light tea meal. These beauties are somewhere in between Japanese and Chinese, lending the flavors of one culture with the culinary technique of another.
These onigiri, or Japanese rice balls, are made from sushi rice speckled with furikake. Think of furikake as savory confetti for rice. Among pre-made furikake, the wakame or radish leaf flavors are really delicious. I’ve even made homemade furikake with nori and green tea leaves before.
If you want to serve these as a more substantial meal, try tucking a small piece of meat or veggies inside each rice ball. Cubes of ham, a few peas or a small wedge of cheese all make tasty fillings.
After you’ve made the rice balls themselves, soy wrappers take these to the next level of beautiful. I like to change up the color of wrapper I use depending on what my dishes and tea wares look like, setting the stage for a visually rich and satisfying meal.
Makes 10-12 dumplings.
2 cups cooked sushi rice
2-3 Tablespoons of furikake, pre-made or homemade
3 soy wrappers, each cut into 4 squares (I used the orange variety from Yamamotoyama)
sriracha and soy sauce to serve
1. In a large bowl, gently fold the furikake in with the rice. The steam will help the flavors to bloom.
2. Measure out generous 2 Tbsp portions of the rice, then place in the middle of one of the wrappers. Use a few light dabs of water to help the wrapper stick to the sides of the rice ball. Lightly place pressure on the bottom of the rice ball to create a flat bottom.
3. Repeat the process until you get 12 dumplings. Top with sriracha to serve.