Gluten Free Japanese Recipes: Avocado Onigiri Rice Ball Recipes

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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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