Learn just how easy it is to make Salted Rose Onigiri – a beautiful addition to any bento box that’s guaranteed to impress! Rice is mixed with homemade pickled rose petals for a uniquely floral taste, then decorated with easy, 2-ingredient rose salt for the perfectly elegant finishing touch. 100% vegetarian, and 100% gorgeous!
- ~ 1 cup cooked Japanese short-grain rice
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup pickled rose petals (recipe I used can be found here)
- 1/8 teaspoon beet powder
- 4 fresh rose petals (optional)
- 2 tablespoons Himalayan pink sea salt (coarse)
- 4 – 6 rose petals
- Onigiri mold
- Spice or coffee grinder
- Plastic wrap
- Place the rose petals on a microwave-safe plate, and microwave for 1 minute – this removes excess moisture from the petals.
- Add the Himalayan pink sea salt and the rose petals to the spice/coffee grinder, and pulse until a fine pink salt has formed. Store the salt in a non-reactive jar or container.
- Using a sharp knife, finely chop the pickled rose petals. Divide the petals into two equal portions, and set aside.
- Divide the rice into two equal portions – one portion will remain white, and the other will be dyed pink. Make sure the rice is either freshly cooked or warm.
- Take one bowl of warm rice and add half the chopped pickled rose petals to it. Mix the petals into the rice using a rice paddle or spoon.
- Pink Rice: In a small bowl, mix beet powder with 1/2 tablespoon warm water until dissolved. Feel free to add more beet powder as needed to achieve desired color. Add your homemade pink dye to the remaining 1/2 portion of warm rice, and mix until rice becomes evenly pink in color. Add the remaining chopped pickled rose petals to the pink rice, and mix with a rice paddle or spoon until evenly dispersed.
- With a damp paper towel, wipe the inside of your onigiri mold until it’s completely damp. Also wet the removable top piece.
- Using a rice paddle or spoon, fill your mold 3/4 of the way full with warm rice (either the white or pink rice). Press the rice gently but firmly into all the crevices of the mold.
- Take the removable top piece and insert it into the mold. Push with gentle pressure until the top piece is fully inserted into the mold.
- Remove the top piece, and flip the rice mold over, making sure to do this over top of a sheet of plastic wrap. If your rice mold has little push indents on the bottom, push it gently with your thumb, then gently tap the bottom and sides of the mold until the onigiri slides out.
- Repeat Steps 5 – 8 with remaining white and pink rice.
- Finish each onigiri with a generous sprinkle of the homemade rose salt. You can either sprinkle some directly on top, or roll the onigiri in the rose salt for a more even coating.
- Optional: Place a fresh rose petal over top one corner of each onigiri, then wrap securely in plastic wrap, smoothing out the rose petal as best you can. It won’t stick quite as well as nori, but the stickiness of the rice combined with the plastic wrap should help it to stay in place.
- Please make sure the roses you use are either organic or pesticide-free roses, or are labeled as safe to eat.
- If you don’t want to make the rose salt, feel free to sprinkle your onigiri with regular ground sea salt or ground Himalayan pink sea salt instead.
- I also made these onigiri using a mini triangle mold and a mini spherical mold – both make for very elegant shapes that are the perfect size for fitting into smaller bento boxes.