Gluten Free Japanese Recipes: Avocado Onigiri Rice Ball Recipes

July 2nd, 2009 yum Posted in 4th of July, Dinner Party, Eggs, Japanese, Lunch, Party Food, Rice, Vegetarian 16 Comments »

onigiribox2
As you may know, the DH and I are expecting a “Baby Yum” in mid July and so have been doing all sorts of things to prepare for her, including attending childbirth classes. I had always imagined that these classes would be cuddly events involving yoga mats and back massages and spouses, so I was a little disappointed with the rather clinical, hospital-themed lectures we ended up attending. I also found myself more than a little hungry at the first one as it took place directly after the DH got home from work during our typical dinner hour. We sped over to a nearby PF Chang’s for a late dinner, but after that I wanted to bring our own dinner. (This was encouraged by the class leader/nurse.) The next class, I brought tasty spring rolls. The week after, though, I was inspired to make another international portable snack, Onigiri, or Japanese rice balls.
onigirifillings
First I prepped the ingredients and set them out on a plate, and then I made a bunch of different types in small triangular molds:
Vegetarian Sesame Spinach Onigiri (a Book of Yum favorite)
Vegetarian fresh basil and sweet egg onigiri (a Japanese omelette made with 1 small beaten egg, 2 tsp. sugar and salt fried and then minced) with both ingredients mixed into the rice.
Cream cheese, avocado, and cucumber onigiri
and
Peanut Sauce Onigiri (recipe below)

The latter recipe was inspired by an earlier recipe I’d never gotten around to blog, where I used very yummy gluten-free miso mayo with avocado and pine nuts for a fusion nigiri. This time I didn’t have any on hand but I did have some of the new gluten-free San-J peanut sauce in my pantry, so I used that. It was delicious and ended up being one of my favorite rolls, next to the sesame spinach onigiri. The rolls traveled beautifully and made a very tasty and hearty dinner during our class. They would be perfect for a picnic lunch or a Fourth of July celebration as well! If you haven’t tried making vegetarian onigiri, I highly recommend it as a portable and delicious, easily gluten-free meal.


This time I used onigiri rice triangle molds similar to these above. Besides Amazon, you can find onigiri molds at specialty online shops, Japanese markets, and Japanese dollar stores (hyaku en Shoppu) like Daiso.

Product Review of San-J Gluten-Free Peanut Sauce
Thin Japanese egg omelette recipe for an alternative to a nori wrap
Festive Coconut Sticky-Rice Onigiri Recipe

Fusion Avocado Basil Vegetarian Onigiri Recipe
Ingredients
2 rice cooker scoops of White Sushi Rice
Nori Seaweed sheets, either square cut in half or onigiri size
1/2 fresh avocado, chopped in large, thick chunks
Miso Mayo or your favorite GF mayonnaise with a touch of salt or GF soy sauce added (if soy is ok for you)
Handful of Pine Nuts, toasted or not to taste
Julienned fresh basil OR fresh shiso leaf (I prefer basil)
kosher salt flakes
black sesame seeds
Directions
Rinse your (uncooked) sushi rice until the water runs clean with no cloudiness. Drain and cook your sushi rice in your rice cooker according to machine’s directions OR, if you don’t have a rice cooker, prepare on the stove according to rice directions. When cooked, fluff rice and let cool slightly.

Prepare your ingredients and set up an onigiri station with a rice bowl, saran wrap and ingredients. Line rice bowl with saran wrap. Sprinkle saran wrap with kosher salt flakes. Place layer of sushi rice in the bowl on top of the saran wrap, press a few pine nuts into the center of the bowl and rice, top with a little fresh basil and then add your piece of avocado to the center on top of basil and pine nuts. top with a little miso mayo, a little more julienned fresh basil and then cover with a layer of rice. Sprinkle rice on top with kosher salt. Wrap saran around the whole rice ball and remove from bowl. Compress with hands until you have a nice, tight triangle. Gently remove from saran wrap and wrap in nori seaweed so nori is open towards the top of the triangle. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds if desired.

Make more until you run out of rice. Enjoy this easy lunchbox treat. :)

Notes
*Will need to be refrigerated, especially if you use an egg based mayonnaise.
Gluten Free Vegan Peanut Avocado Onigiri Recipe
Ingredients
San-J peanut sauce or homemade peanut sauce
1/2 cubed avocado
1/4 sliced, cubed peeled cucumber
pine nuts
Julienned fresh basil OR fresh shiso leaf (I prefer basil)

black sesame seeds

Directions
Rinse your (uncooked) sushi rice until the water runs clean with no cloudiness. Drain and cook your sushi rice in your rice cooker according to machine’s directions OR, if you don’t have a rice cooker, prepare on the stove according to rice directions. When cooked, fluff rice and let cool slightly.

Prepare your ingredients and set up an onigiri station with a small triangular onigiri mold, saran wrap and ingredients. Line onigiri mold with a small piece of saran wrap. Place layer of sushi rice in the mold on top of the saran wrap and drizzle a small amount of peanut sauce on the rice and add avocado, cucumber, and a few pine nuts in the center of the rice mold. Top with a little fresh basil or shiso. Then cover with a layer of rice and press into a nice triangular onigiri. Wrap saran around the whole rice ball and remove from mold. Compress with hands and gently remove from saran wrap and sprinkle with black sesame seeds.

Notes
San-J peanut sauce is very liquid, so it will seep into the top of the onigiri. Homemade peanut sauce can be thicker so will not necessarily leak.
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Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Vegetarian Pizza Toppings: Japanese Mayo Corn Pizza Recipe and Thai Un-chicken Tofu Veggie Pizza Recipe

March 11th, 2009 yum Posted in Chebe, Corn, Dairy Free, Japanese, Peanut, Pizza, Thai, Vegan, Vegetarian, tofu 7 Comments »


This week I decided to make vegetarian dairy-free pizza toppings different than any I’d made before. First, I took inspiration from California Thai-inspired pizza to make a pizza with a peanut sauce base, topped with grilled broccoli, roasted chard, and fried tofu strips. The DH gobbled it up and didn’t miss the cheese at all, which is quite an accomplishment since he usually favors simple marinara and lots of cheese.

Then I decided to follow the Japanese model and make a creative dairy-free topping using some popular ingredients usually only seen in Japan- sweet corn and mayonnaise. I guess I should have put potatoes on it as well- but I didn’t think of it, so I’ll leave that for next time. This time I used a base NOT usually seen in Japanese restaurants- a dairy-free, pine nut based basil pesto. Corn added interest and mayonnaise added the rich, creamy dimension usually added by cheese. I wasn’t sure how the DH would like mayonnaise on pizza, but happily, he seemed to really enjoy it. To my surprise, I really liked it too.

Peanut sauce is one of my favorite things, and I really loved it on pizza with grilled veggies and tofu, but the Japanese-inspired mayo pizza was yummy too. I can safely say that we’ll make both again… and I can’t wait! If you have a peanut allergy but can tolerate almonds, try substituting almond butter for the peanut butter and using your favorite oil to saute the tofu. It should be delicious!

I did not use a strictly vegan crust because I wanted to use a mild onion-garlic chebe base and the Chebe crust turns out best with eggs. I basted the Crust with paprika seasoned chili oil for the Thai-inspired pizza, and basil infused oil for the Japanese-inspired pizza. However, you could easily use a Gluten-Free vegan crust like this one and it would be wonderful. The thai style topping is already naturally vegan, but if you want to try a vegan Japanese-mayo topping, just use a vegan GF mayonnaise like Miso Mayo or Vegannaise.

For fun, check out these
Japanese Pizza Topping Flyers (non-veg)
Japanese Pizza Web Page

And only in japan would you get to see your pizza toppings dancing and talking as cute little animated figures before you crunch them up on your pizza:

Enjoy!

Dairy Free Pesto Mayo Japanese-style Pizza topping Recipe
Ingredients
1 GF Pizza Crust Recipe, baked for 5-10 minutes (5 for thin crust, 10 for thick crust)

1 GF, dairy free homemade basil pesto recipe:
1 cup fresh basil leaves, destemmed, and packed tightly
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tsp. rice wine or cider vinegar
1 tbsp. cup nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. water or more
salt and pepper

1/2 of a small can corn
dairy-free mayonnaise (your favorite- I used Smart Balance but recipe is easily vegan if you use GF vegan mayo like miso mayo or veganaise)

Directions
Preheat oven to 425.

Combine ingredients for your basil pesto in a small food processor bowl or blender.

Top GF Pizza Crust with basil pesto. Sprinkle with drained corn and dollop with small dabs of mayonnaise to taste.

Bake GF pizza for crust’s suggested time or until mayonnaise is browned and golden. (10-20 minutes)

Enjoy!

Notes
Small dabs of mayonnaise are probably better for this recipe, unless you really like mayonnaise…
Vegan Thai Peanut Tofu no-chicken Pizza Topping Recipe
Ingredients
1 recipe GF Pizza Crust

Peanut Sauce:
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 tbsp or more fresh grated ginger
1 tsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice
1tbsp. gf low sodium wheat-free tamari
1/2 cup to 1 cup water
salt to taste
smoked paprika (optional)

7 ounces tofu, pressed in towels for 30 minutes
peanut oil
salt

1/3 bunch broccoli, cleaned, florets cut in long spears
sprinkle of sesame oil
smoked paprika
salt
sprinkling of brown sugar

several large leaves of chard
a few drops of sesame oil
salt

Directions
Combine peanut sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor, and reserve.

Slice tofu into thin strips and saute in oil, salting lightly. When golden brown on both sides, remove from pan and slice tofu strip in half horizontally. Reserve.

Sprinkle broccoli with sesame oil and rub so evenly distributed through florets. Season with smoked paprika, salt, and brown sugar. Grill (or roast in oven on high heat) until you have lovely grill marks on both sides. Reserve.

Preheat oven to 425. Rinse and dry chard leaves, dribble a few drops of sesame oil and evenly distribute. Sprinkle a tiny amount of salt on them and place on a large cookie sheet. Roast chard leaves until done to your taste (can be dry and leaf-like or moist- depends on how you prefer!) Watch the oven carefully. When chard is done, remove and reserve.

Heat peanut sauce on stove until it thickens lightly.

Prepare pizza by spreading a layer of peanut sauce and topping with thinly sliced grilled broccoli, roasted chard, and fried tofu strips.
Bake on 425 for 10-20 minutes, depending on your pizza crust and how crunchy you like the crust. Sauce should thicken more on the pizza. Enjoy!

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