Kabocha Miso Onigiri are a fall favorite for me, they are amazingly delicious & quick and easy to make. Nothing says fall like pumpkin roasted to perfection with umami salty miso and steamed sushi rice! YUM.
Onigiri are Japanese rice balls, they are triangles of sushi rice pressed into shape and stuffed with whatever filling you choose. I have many favorite combos but this is the best at this time of year. I recommend also trying roasted chestnut, or avocado with pickled plum paste, or stewed seaweed, or crumbled seitan soboro. Have you tried onigiri before? What is your favorite filling?
Onigiri are considered ‘home cooking’ and ‘on-the-go’ food in Japan, so you won’t find them in a fancy restaurant. They are more ubiquitous than sushi and I feel like it’s a great way to enjoy real Japanese cuisine. These can be packed in a picnic, enjoyed on a hike, or as a simple lunch at home like I’m doing.
Onigiri can be formed by hand the traditional way by shaping it in your palm into a triangle. I personally use a rice press made for this purpose. Need an onigiri press? Here is the one I have on Amazon: Triangle Rice Mold.
If you don’t have kabocha you can use any squash or pumpkin in this recipe! Butternut squash, acorn squash, or pumpkin would be great in this recipe. Also, I am using Adzuki bean miso, but I recommend a mellow white miso in these if you have it.
Kabocha Miso Onigiri
- 1/4 cup kabocha squash
- 1 cup sushi rice, uncooked
- 2-3 tbsp miso paste
- 2 sheets nori seaweed
- Prepare your rice according to the package instructions. Rinse 2-3 times then add water. I use my rice cooker, but you could also make rice in a steamer or on the stovetop.
- Deseed the kabocha, peel the skin, and then cut into bite-size pieces.
- Bake the kabocha in the oven at 400F for 30 minutes or until tender. I baked mine on a well seasoned cast iron pan, but you could also use a silpat mat on a baking sheet.
- Cut the nori into strips that will fit around your rice balls, I use the onigiri mold as a guide.
- Using an onigiri mold, fill halfway with the cooked sushi rice and add a piece of kabocha in the center and a tsp of miso paste. Top with more rice then close the mold and press gently.
- Flip and release the onigiri, wrap with a piece of nori. Serve & enjoy!
If you make these kabocha miso onigiri, post a picture to Instagram and tag me @CultivatorKitchen and use the hashtag #culivatorkitchen so I can check it out!
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