sesame seeds, furikake (Japanese rice seasoning) or nori cut into
1. Rinse your rice. (This is one of those tasks
that as a beginner cook I skipped but that I never ignore now, as I know it
leads to better, clearer-textured rice.) Put the rice in a bowl and cover with
cold water. Swish it around a bit and then, using your fingers as a dam, pour
out just the water and repeat two more times.
2. If you have a rice-cooker, cook your rice in
that. If you don’t, follow the package directions. Try to time this so that when
the rice is done cooking, you are ready to assemble the onigiri. You want your
rice to be hot.
3. While the rice is cooking, mix the can of tuna with the
mayonnaise. Taste it. If it needs salt, add salt.
4. To assemble the onigiri: Arrange the pot of cooked rice next
to a bowl with salt, the bowl with the tuna filling, and a bowl with a bit of
water. Grab a ramekin or teacup and plastic wrap.
5. Line the ramekin or teacup with a sheet of saran wrap.
Sprinkle in a bit of water and then dump out any excess. Next sprinkle in a few
pinches of salt.
6. Fluff the rice with a fork. If you want to season the rice
with furikake or some sesame seeds, go ahead and add a few tablespoons now. If
you are moving forward with plain rice, just be sure to season it at the end or
right before eating it.
7. Scoop a large spoonful of the hot rice into the
plastic-lined ramekin. Press it into the mold and then make a little well for
8. Place 1 tablespoon of the tuna mixture into
the hollow, then scoop another spoonful of the rice on top. Press it down with
the plastic wrap that’s hanging over the edge. Once you feel like it’s nice and
compact, pull it out by lifting up on the plastic wrap. Continue molding it,
trying to get it into a nice little 1-inch-thick triangle. Don’t worry if your
first one is a bit wonky. They’ll get better as you go. Leave them wrapped in
the plastic wrapper until you’ve formed all the onigiri. [If you want to wrap
these in strips of nori, you’ll have to unwrap them from the plastic wrap in
order to do so.] Enjoy at room temperature, either right away or put them in
the fridge to enjoy the following day—if you can, bring them to room temp