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Call It A Sushi Burger Or A Rice Burger, The Raves Have Begun

Image of sushi burger

Sushi Burger? Sounds new, but this has been around since the 1980’s and has suddenly taken the online world by a storm. Images of sushi burgers or the rice burgers have begun to flood social media. A look at an image of this burger makes you feel it would crumble in your hands. How can it be a burger? What are they really?  As all the obvious questions cloud you, read on for answers and some delicious munches.

Onigiri, musubinigiri, or nigirimeshi are all names interchangeably used for hand pressed rice. Onigiri is a popular Japanese soul food for the simple reason of love for rice among the Japanese. Just as the theplas of North India and the puzhiyotharai of South India, Onigiri is a great travel companion and a convenient quick snack.


Image of Onigiri Japanese food


The key to making this specialty is cooking it to the right consistency and the kind of rice used. Normal forms of white rice, jasmine or basmati rice doesn’t work without adding a biding agent as they aren’t sticky enough to hold on together. Medium-grain Japonica rice or short-grain glutinous rice are the varieties that work as they are glutinous enough that the grains stick together. Brown rice that is medium grain or short grain can be used as well. Cooked rice is then mixed with seasoning and made into desired shapes. Onigiris are eaten plain or enjoyed with varied flavors. The possibilities for fillings and added spices are endless.


Onigiri filled with Japanese Yam and Kabocha Squash
Onigiri filled with Japanese Yam and Kabocha Squash


A flattened Onigiri coated with a seasoning is grilled or pan seared. Seasoned and grilled meat patty is then sandwiched in between two flat Onigiris. Throw in some mustard, lettuce and all your favorite dressings.  There you have it – a look alike burger. This gave rise to the variation from the usual burgers, a burger that’s got some delicious fillings between two grilled rice cakes. A Japanese fast food chain introduced this in 1987 and has been quite popular in East Asian countries to the extent burgers chains like McDonald’s began serving them in their outlets in many Asian countries.


Screenshot from Instagram on Sushi Burger or Rice Burger


Lately, this unique burger variant has been catching up in the West. Insider Food meets up with a joint in New York that serves this burger alternative. Watch the making of a rice burger here.

Here are some unbeatable burgers that Chennai raves about.

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