Ingredients for 8 Nigiri

Vinegared Rice
Cooked rice (ごはん / Gohan) 150 g

Sushi Vinegar
Rice vinegar (米酢/ Kome-su) 1/2 tbsp
Sugar (砂糖 / Satōh) 1 tsp
Salt (塩/ Shio) 1/8 tsp

White roasted sesame seeds (白炒り胡麻 / Shiro irigoma) 1/2 tsp
Senmai-dzuke (千枚漬け / Senmai-dzuke) 8 slices (red)
Mitsuba (三つ葉 / Mitsuba) 8 stems

How to Make

1. Make the vinegared rice and then use it to make eight nigiri (cylindrical) shapes.
2. Wrap each of these with a slice of senmai-dzuke.
3. Parboil the mitsuba and then cool it in cold water. Tie a stem of parboiled mitsuba around each of the nigiris wrapped with senmai-dzuke to hold it together.

How to Make Vinegared Rice

1. Cook the rice. Combine the sushi vinegar ingredients and mix them well, making sure all of the sugar and salt are dissolved.
2. When the rice is done, evenly pour on the sushi vinegar and add the sesame seeds while the rice is hot. Use a shamoji (paddle-like utensil) to mix the rice. Do this by using a cutting motion. While mixing, use a fan to cool the rice. Continue to mix until the rice begins to shine. When you finish, cover the rice with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.

Significance as an Osechi Dish
Senmai-dzuke nigiri themselves are not an essential part of osechi ryōri. However, they are similar to hōsho maki. Hōsho (奉書) is high-quality paper traditionally used for ceremonial purposes. “Hōsho maki” (奉書巻き) refers to a food made by wrapping ingredients in the fashion of a scroll. The scroll shape symbolizes study, or learning, and ultimately a wish for success at school and in one’s adult life. The senmai-dzuke nigiri made for the class are reddish in color, while hōsho maki are usually white, but the combination of red and white in the senmai-dzuke nigiri is appropriate for osechi ryōri as these colors are seen as promising good fortune.

Recipe Developed by Machiko Tateno