I have been seeing this all over Japan's social media and blogosphere and had to try it...it's called O-nigirazu.
If you remember, O-nigiri is what a lot of people in Kansai call rice balls...I've written a detailed post about that here.
Anyway with O-nigirazu, you don't mold the rice with your hands...which is why they call this O-nigirazu. In Japanese, using "zu" at the end of verbs makes the verb negative...I hope I'm explaining this correctly.
Take a sheet of nori...
Place some rice (about the size of the shamoji (rice paddle) in the center and spread the rice out thin but do not go all the way to the edge of the nori, keep everything as close to the center of the nori.
I also added a piece of fried chicken and some baby leaf lettuce. Add the fillings that you like.
Add a little more rice to top it off and bring up all the corners to the center, like when you make your own envelope.
NOTE: If the filling and rice combo is too much, your corners may not make it to the center.
I also used wax paper to hold everything together.
Then I flipped over the O-nigirazu and sliced it in half. Try not to "saw" at it, as it may fall apart.
When cut in half, it should kinda look like this.
These are perfect for picnics, parties or to put into your bento boxes.
NOTE: if you are bringing this on a picnic, you may want to wrap each half in plastic wrap. Also, if your filling has some sauce or gravy it may make things a bit soggy, so try to pick something that doesn't have too much liquid.
The different fillings are endless and you can even add furikake or tsukemono (pickles) to your rice, I hope you find a combo that you like.
I had fun making this and will make this again. Have a nice weekend!