Even if you only have a passing fascination with Japanese cuisine, there’s a good chance that you’ve come across onigiri. A stuffed rice ball held together by dried seaweed sheets, onigiri is a bona fide classic. We’d recommend offering a few different fillings so that you can cater to dietary restrictions and differing tastebuds. For example, pickled plum onigiri will appeal to vegetarians while sushi fans will really dig sha-ke (salted salmon) onigiri.
Interestingly enough, two different chefs from Vancouver, Canada and Los Angeles, California claim to have invented the California roll. Whatever the truth may be, this dish deserves its west coast moniker. Each bite is light but packed with flavor and incorporates the most L.A. vegetable of them all, avocados. When it comes to sushi, California rolls are one of the most approachable variants, making it a great “first-timer” dish.
Not all seaweed dishes come from the east. Taking inspiration from Italian cuisine, seaweed risotto is an intriguing mixture of tastes and textures; the toothsomeness of seaweed is particularly surprising when placed in a creamy risotto. Honestly, most ingredients that you’d throw into a risotto fit well here, so don’t be afraid to reach for onions, spinach, or Italian cheeses.
- Pro Tip: Try adding walnuts to get a bit of crunch!
The king of Hawaiian snacks, the humble musubi is traditionally made up of only three ingredients; sushi rice, nori, and your protein of choice. Spam musubi is the heaviest hitter of the all and brings salty and savory flavors with each bite. That being said, we’ve seen chefs create everything from teriyaki-chicken musubi to fried shrimp musubi!
- Pro Tip: For a morning spin on musubi, try adding scrabbled eggs!
Healthy and easy to prepare, seaweed chips are poised to take the health-food community by storm. While in theory you could use any type of dried seaweed, we recommend nori due to its mild flavor profile because it allows your seasoning to take charge. To prepare, brush your nori with water and season generously before baking in the oven. It’s important to allow them ample time to cool before serving so that they don’t end up soggy or soft.