My buddy Catherine over at The Gluttonous Geek is currently hosting #PokeNOM month, a month-long linkup project where people with and without food blogs are sharing their Pokémon-inspired recipes using the hashtag #PokeNOM!
Back during the original run of the 4KIDS Pokémon dub, onigiri got some weird treatment. Someone at 4KIDS must really hate rice balls, because they went to incredible lengths to erase them from the show. At one point they even took the time to animate sandwiches over them. The most memorable moment was a scene in which multiple characters loudly and unnecessarily proclaimed their love for “jelly filled donuts.” They were holding onigiri, of course, and the dubbed dialogue was fooling exactly no one. I think 4KIDS knew it was a stretch, because they made sure to have each character repeat that they were eating donuts roughly 1,000 times in a 30-second scene.
This whole scene got kinda burned into my brain as a kid. As a result, I decided to do 4KIDS a solid and make a jelly filled donut that looked like onigiri. Look, 4KIDS! You’re not liars anymore!
POKÉNOM JELLY FILLED DONUTS
Yields: 5 large or 10 small jelly donuts
30ml (2 tbsp) milk
60g (2 oz) sour cream
20g (1 tbsp + 1 tsp) butter, melted
1.5 tsp quick rise instant yeast
20ml (1 tbsp + 1 tsp) slightly warm water
1 egg yolk, beaten
45g (.75 oz) sugar
1 pinch salt
1 tsp baking powder
175g (1 1/2 cups) all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
Vegetable oil for frying
1. Combine the warm water with the yeast and a small pinch of the sugar and allow to sit for five minutes. In the microwave or on the stove, warm the milk until lukewarm.
2. In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine all remaining ingredients save for the frying oil. Add in the yeast mixture and mix until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. Mix for an additional 5 minutes with the dough hook, or knead by hand for 10 minutes. (Since the dough is a little sticky and we want to avoid adding too much flour, the former is preferable.) Once kneaded, return the dough to the mixing bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Allow dough to rise for one hour or until doubled in size. (Not sure if it’s risen enough? Poke it with your finger. If the hole doesn’t begin to shrink and disappear, it’s done.)
3. Cut out either 5 or 10 squares of parchment depending on what size you’re making. Arrange them on a cookie sheet. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough to get large air bubbles out, and then roll the dough into a very long rectangle. Use your hands to shape it as you go if necessary. The dough should be about 1/3″ thick.
4. Use a knife to cut the dough into 12 triangles for large donuts, or 20 for small. Press in the corners just a bit to make the edges more rounded. Make sure there’s a thin layer of flour on the bottom part of your donuts, so that they’ll slide off easily when frying time rolls around.
4. Preheat an oven for 5 minutes, then turn it off. Now take a large cake pan or casserole dish and fill it with boiling water, placing it in a lower rack in the oven. Place your donuts on the rack above the steam dish. The steam will prevent skins from forming. Allow the donuts to rise for half an hour.
5. In a large pan or skillet, heat up the oil to 350°F/175°C. If you don’t have a thermometer, test the oil with a dough scrap: if the dough doesn’t immediately begin to bubble and cook, the oil is too cold. If it turns dark brown after a minute, it’s too hot. You want a minute of cooking time to result in a light golden brown finish.
6. Begin frying. You’ll want to fry your donuts 2 or 3 at a time to prevent crowding. Slide a donut in and allow it to fry for one minute or until lightly golden brown before flipping it and cooking for the same time on the other side. Remove the donut from the oil with a slotted spoon and set it on a plate lined with paper towels to cool. Repeat until all your donuts are done.
400g (4 cups) powdered sugar
250ml (1 cup) whole milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 pinch salt
1. Whisk together all ingredients until smooth.
OTHER SUPPLIES + ASSEMBLY
Marzipan, fondant or modeling chocolate of choice, about 1/2 cup (120ml)
Cornstarch, for dusting
Black and green food coloring
Desiccated coconut or white chocolate shavings, about 4 cups (750ml)
Jam of your choice, about 2/3 cup (150ml)
1. Fill your jam into a pastry bag and snip off the tip. Insert the bag into the bottom of each donut and squeeze to fill. The donut should plump up a bit, but be sure. If you pull the bag out and a ton of jam squeezes out, that’s too much.
2. Using a spatula or pastry brush, cover each donut in a light layer of glaze and roll it in your “rice” of choice: the coconut or white chocolate. If it isn’t complete coverage, that’s fine. Let it dry while you dip the others. Now go back and add a second layer of glaze and coconut.
3. Color your marzipan/modeling chocolate/fondant to a very dark, almost black green color using your food colors. I suggest modeling chocolate since it will require the least amount of food coloring. Now roll out the dough on a cornstarch dusted surface until VERY thin, about 1/16″. Cut it into strips a bit narrower than one side of your donuts. Cut each strip down to about 4″ in length. Brush a little jam onto the underside of each strip and adhere it to the donuts to look like nori. Serve!
We used desiccated coconut, and these donuts were incredibly delicious. I also happened to get some plum jelly made by my mother-in-law as a gift recently, and since pickled plum is a traditional filling for savory onigiri, using plum jelly seemed hilariously fitting. (I know they’re different kinds of plums, but just humor me, okay?)
Be sure to head over to the linkup list at The Gluttonous Geek to see what other bloggers are doing to celebrate #PokeNOM month! And hey, why not contribute something yourself? Whether you Instagram, tweet, Facebook or blog it, just be sure to use the hashtag #PokeNOM and submit your link to the list!
EDIT: While you’re looking at other links, check out this onigiri donut Tumblr user crosspistols made! Thanks to some Tumblr folks for pointing me to this, it’s neat to see another interpretation!