Munchies

This Crispy Onigiri Is Basically a Deep-Fried California Roll

Crunchy rice triangles are an excellent vehicle for stuffing your face with avocado and crab.

by Munchies Staff
Jul 5 2017, 7:00pm

Ya know what sounds more fun than it actually is? Making sushi.

Sure, you'll feel mighty proud when your friends are showering you with praise for the killer sushi you just made. But the problem is that you probably won't make killer sushi, because, well, it's really hard.

There's a reason Jiro made his apprentices waste away the best years of their lives while he kept making all the sushi for customers. It takes a true artist to make great sushi. But making great onigiri—or, at least a damn good version—only takes desire and a little bit of patience.

Onigiri is kind of like the French dip to sushi's wagyu steak, if you will. These Japanese rice balls are a bento box staple, made for eating on the go, and they're typically made with pretty much anything you feel like putting in them: chicken, veggies, whatever you have laying around the fridge. Then they're wrapped in nori for that perfect combo of soft rice and seaweed crunch.

When the team from Bessou recently stopped by the Munchies Test Kitchen to cook dinner (using food provided by Baldor) they made their own take on onigiri by doing what they do best: Putting a modern spin on classic Japanese comfort food.

RECIPE: Crispy California Onigiri

Instead of getting its crunch from nori, Bessou's rice triangles were deep fried, then covered in wasabi mayo, king crab leg meat, avocado, and cucumber, and finished off with a drop of seaweed-infused oil to bring it all home. The result was decadent, refreshing, and beautiful.

Don't worry if yours doesn't turn out quite as pretty as theirs. This isn't sushi, after all. Nobody's going to judge you.