Onigirazu 3 Ways (Japanese Rice Sandwich Recipe)

5 from 5 votes
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Onigirazu is a Japanese rice sandwich featuring layers of rice filled with various ingredients, all wrapped in nori seaweed. Learn how to prepare it in three different ways!

tuna mayo onigirazu served on a plate.

Onigirazu is a modern twist on traditional Japanese onigiri. It’s a convenient, delicious, and satisfying rice dish. I’ll guide you through three ways to make onigirazu, including vegetarian and vegan options.

    This recipe is for you if:
  • You want to make sushi sandwiches.
  • You are looking for easy onigirazu recipe.
  • You are looking for variations of onigirazu.

Let’s get started!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Onigirazu, a quick and easy meal, needs only 5 ingredients. It’s a convenient square-shaped sushi sandwich.
  • Customize your Onigirazu with various fillings to suit your taste – vegan, vegetarian, or non-vegetarian.
  • This recipe gives straightforward instructions and tips for easy assembly.

What is Onigirazu?

3 different onigirazu are served on a plate.

The Japanese term “onigirazu” translates to “not shaped like a rice ball.” Unlike traditional Onigiri, onigirazu is not shaped triangular or ball shape. Instead, the ingredients are placed on top of rice and then folded into a square shape before being wrapped in nori.

Onigirazu’s portability, ease of eating, and versatility in fillings make it a popular choice for those who want a quick and satisfying meal on the go.

📋 Ingredients

Here are the ingredients (amounts are in the recipe card below).

ingredient list for onigirazu.
  • Japanese short-grain rice – Japanese short-grain rice like Koshihikari and sushi rice is sticky and starchy, making it perfect for holding the onigirazu shape. While white rice is commonly used, you can also use brown rice. If you are unsure how to cook Japanese rice, see how to cook Japanese rice on the stove.
  • Nori seaweed Nori is a type of seaweed that’s dried, crispy, and sold in sheets like the picture above. Get this full-size sheet of nori seaweed (8.3″ x 7.5″ or 21 x 19 cm) at a grocery store.
  • Fillings of your choice – The best thing about Onigirazu is that the filling ideas are endless. You can stuff it with savory dishes like teriyaki chicken or traditional onigiri fillings. I will share tuna mayo, tamagoyaki (vegetarian), and mabo dofu (vegan) in this recipe.

Where to Buy Japanese Ingredients

If you live in the US, you can find Japanese ingredients in the list below.

  • Japanese market: Mitsuwa MarketplaceMarukai
  • Asian market
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Health food stores
  • Online stores: Instacart, Walmart, Amazon

🔪Instructions

Let’s start assembling the onigirazu! Begin by gathering your onigirazu fillings, nori sheets, and rice.

How to assemble onigirazu.

1. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on a clean work surface, then place a nori sheet on top of the plastic wrap, shiny side facing down.

How to assemble onigirazu.

2. Spread a layer of rice evenly on the center of the nori sheet, creating a 10cm (4 inches) square or smaller.

How to assemble onigirazu.

3. Add your fillings one by one on top of the rice.

How to assemble onigirazu.

4. Place another layer of rice on top of the fillings, ensuring the filling is covered with rice.

How to assemble onigirazu.

5. Fold the corners of the nori over the filling to make a square shape.

How to assemble onigirazu.

6. Wrap the onigirazu tightly with plastic wrap.

onigirazu wrapped in a plastic wrap.

The image on the left is a regular-sized portion, while the one on the right features a larger serving. Feel free to customize the amount of rice and filling for your liking.

3 different onigirazu are served on a plate.

Let it sit for a few minutes, and cut it in half with a slightly moistened sharp knife. Let’s look at the inside! Enjoy these colorful Onigirazu sandwiches for lunch or as a snack!

Helpful Tips

  1. Use short-grain sushi rice – Sushi rice has the perfect consistency and stickiness to hold the Onigirazu together.
  2. Use a moist filling – To keep the Onigirazu from falling apart, use a moist filling. Dry fillings can make the Onigirazu crumbly and hard to hold together.
  3. Use onigirazu mold – By using a square container as a mold, you can ensure that your Onigirazu has a consistent shape and size. After filling the container with rice and your filling, flip it over onto a sheet of nori and then wrap it.
  4. Wrap tightly – To ensure the Onigirazu stays together, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Apply pressure to the Onigirazu as you cover it to help it hold its shape.
  5. Let it sit – After wrapping the Onigirazu, let it sit for a few minutes before cutting it. This will give the rice time to settle and make it easier to cut it in half.

Onigirazu Variations

1. Tuna Mayo Onigirazu

tuna mayo onigirazu.

Fillings: Tuna mayo, carrot kinpira, and lettuce

How to prepare the fillings: Open a canned tuna, drain it, and blend it with one tablespoon of mayonnaise and a pinch of salt. Shred a carrot into thin strips, stir-fries with oil, and season with mirin and soy sauce (see kinpira recipe). Rinse the lettuce and shred it into smaller pieces with your hands.

2. Tamagoyaki Onigirazu (Vegetarian)

tamagoyaki onigirazu.

Fillings: Tamagoyaki, stir-fried bell pepper, lettuce

How to prepare the fillings: See the tamagoyaki recipe. Slice the green bell pepper into thin strips, stir-fries with sesame oil, and season with shiokombu or soy sauce. Rinse the lettuce and shred it into smaller pieces with your hands.

3. Mabo Tofu Onigirazu (Vegan)

mabo tofu onigirazu.

Fillings: Mabo tofu, nori tsukudani, lettuce

How to prepare the fillings: See the vegan mabo tofu recipe. Nori tsukudani is nori seaweed paste; you can buy it at a Japanese grocery store. Rinse the lettuce and shred it into smaller pieces with your hands.

More Variations of the Fillings

6 onigirazu variations.

So now you know that onigirazu is a delicious and portable meal that can be customized with different fillings! Here are some more ideas for you to try!

  1. Salmon flakes, grilled shiitake mushrooms, lettuce
  2. Tamagoyaki
  3. Fish sausage, carrot kinpira, boiled spinach
  4. Potato salad, carrot salad, lettuce
  5. Boiled eggs, avocado, lettuce
  6. Grilled salmon, goma ae, lettuce

Storage

onigirazu stored in an airtight container.

To store onigirazu, you should first wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. This will help keep the filling inside and prevent the rice from drying.

Store the wrapped onigirazu in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for a few days.

What to Serve With

Since onigirazu already includes a flavorful filling, a simple way to serve it is with miso soup and a side salad to make a well-balanced and healthy meal!

Thanks for Stopping By!

onigirazu illustration.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog♡ . If you’ve tried this recipe (or any other recipe on the blog), please give it a star rating below!

Also, feel free to leave comments if you have any questions. I love hearing from you!

Chef JA Cooks is a Japanese food blog that shares simple and healthy Japanese home cooking recipes, including vegan and vegetarian. From traditional Japanese recipes to modern recipes with step-by-step instructions.

More Japanese Rice Recipes You Might Like

3 different onigirazu.

Onigirazu 3 Ways (Japanese Rice Sandwich Recipe)

5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Save
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 half-size onigirazu
Author: Juri Austin
Onigirazu is the perfect lunch or snack for anyone who loves the delicious taste of sushi rolls but wants a more portable and convenient option! Learn how to make it in 3 ways!

Ingredients

Fillings of your choice

  • Tuna mayo, See 'Tuna mayo Onigirazu' for how to prepare.
  • Tamagoyaki, See 'Tamagoyaki Onigirazu' for how to prepare.
  • Mabo tofu, See 'Mabo tofu Onigirazu' for how to prepare.

Instructions

  • Prepare ingredients: Prepare fillings of your choice, nori sheet, and rice.
  • Place nori sheet: Place a sheet of plastic wrap on a clean work surface, then place a nori sheet on top of the plastic wrap, shiny side facing down.
  • 1st layer of rice: Spread a layer of rice on the nori evenly, creating a 10cm (4 inches) square or smaller.
  • Add fillings: Add your fillings one by one on top of the rice.
  • 2nd layer of rice: Place another layer of rice on top of the fillings, ensuring the filling is covered with rice.
  • Fold nori: Fold the corners of the nori over the filling to make a square shape.
  • Wrap: Wrap the onigirazu tightly with plastic wrap.
  • Cut: Let it sit for a few minutes, and cut it in half with a slightly moistened knife.

Video

Notes

  • Storage: Wrap each one with plastic wrap, put them in an airtight container, and keep them in the fridge for a couple of days. 
  • Variations: See the ‘Variations of the Fillings’ section for 6 more ideas.
  • If you don’t have a rice cooker, see “How to cook Japanese rice on the stove
  • Be sure to check out the ‘Helpful Tips’ section above for more tips and tricks to help you make Onigirazu with ease.
  • The nutrition label is for tuna mayo onigirazu.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 249kcal
Course: Rice
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: onigirazu
Did You Make this recipe?Please Leave a star rating!

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