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Recipe: Dry-flaked miso tuna & onigiris/rice ball shaping

March 14, 2010

I’ve not made a bento for Monday as I am off travelling to London for work = corporate lunches. It’s also a super early start, with a super late return as I’m only doing a day trip. To ensure that I do not succumb to the unhealthy snacks and chocolates (not to mention mcdonalds!) that are widely sold at the train stations, I had decided to bring along with me two onigris to stave off the hunger pangs.

Initially, I was not going to blog on this (it’s not even a bento) but I did change my tuna soboro/furikake recipe slightly, and wanted to document how to use an onigiri press for those new to it. So I’ve mash this into one posting – dry flaked miso tuna and onigiri forming. It’s probably not any good for seasoned bento makers, but for those who are new to the wonderful world of bentos , onigiris are immensely versatile – not to mention easy to make.

Dry-flaked miso tuna
– 1 can drained can of albarcore tuna
– 1 tsp soya sauce
– 2 tsp miso paste
– 1 tsp raw cane sugar
– 2 tsp mirin
– 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Dry fry the tuna without any oil, until most of the moisture have evaporated. Pour in everything else, and continue stirring (I use chopsticks) until it is dried out. The dryer it is, the longer it would keep….I’ve kept this for up to two-three weeks in the fridge.


This makes for a very good filling for onigiris, or just as an okazu with your bento. It tastes slightly of miso, with a salty/sweet flavour that is good for mopping up with white rice. This forms part of my regular bento stash that I regularly reach for to perk up my lunches. If it is too dry for you, add a squirt of mayo prior to use to make the texture creamier and easier to consume.

Using an onigiri press

I happened to make fresh rice for this, as it’s Sunday and I was replenishing my frozen bento stash. So I had hot fresh rice – I love the flavours of sushi vineger, and added it to the hot rice as well. Onigiris are traditionally made with just white salted rice – if you are adding sushi – su, make sure you add it whilst it’s hot, as the flavours can only be asorbed by hot rice, cold rice would just sit in a puddle of vineger.

I first dip my fingers in salted water, this makes it easier to handle the stickiness of the rice. I then filled the bottom of the onigiri press with a thin layer of rice. Make a light indent in the middle in preparation for the onigiri filling. For the stuffing, I used the dry flaked tuna I made earlier, filling up the indent with tuna. Cover the tuna filling with more rice, making sure not to overpad it.


Press down with the onigiri cover to ensure you get a smooth side. The back of a spoon dipped in water works well too.


You can now pack this away in your bento ect. I cut a strip of nori and wrapped it at the bottom for easy handling. As I was going to be munching on this rice ball whilst fighting the crowds in London, I wrapped this up in clingfilm. You can also use clingfilm to form your onigiris if you do not have an onigiri press – I find it easier to use an onigiri press if I’m making one with filling as the mold just holds the rice in place whilst I put the stuffing on.


Voila, two stuffed onigiris for a on-the-go snack!


5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 15, 2010 6:05 am

    Love the recipe for dry-flaked tuna. Thanks for sharing! I will try this and I think kids will love it 😉

  2. March 15, 2010 5:15 pm

    Thanks so much for showing us how to do this! I have never made a Stuffed Onigiri! It sounds tasty! Good luck on your work trip! :o)

  3. March 16, 2010 1:28 am

    Yum, those look delicious! Great tutorial too! 😀

  4. March 16, 2010 8:33 pm

    Thanks Lia, bentoboxuk & Susan!

    After testing it out, I realise that it tastes much better mixed in with some mayo prior to use….but leaving it dry does allow me a longer storage life. Now, what other ways can I use this?

  5. March 22, 2010 10:09 am

    Wahhh.. so this is how you do it. More lessons please for the bento-idiot.

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