3 Fusion Onigirazu Recipes To Impress

The Ideal Result Of The Union Between Onigiri And Sandwiches

By Eleonora Badellino
August 11, 2020
Food & Drink

Also known as "Rice Sandwich", Onigirazu is a big rice ball, usually with a square shape, made of layers of rice and filling, wrapped with nori seaweed. And it’s delicious.

Recreating this brilliant invention at home is really simple. To make a delicious onigirazu, what you need is your favorite filling, a few tablespoons of rice (leftovers also works perfectly), and a large sheet of nori that will add a delicious crunchiness to the final result. To help you, we picked three recipes that will make anyone fall in love with onigirazu! 

Don’t hesitate and go wild with the fillings!

After a short practice, you will find that its preparation is not only simple but allows you to play with the combinations of your favorite flavors much more than your regular onigiri. Before showing my top three versions, here are some suggestions that may come in handy if this is the first time you jump into their preparation.

How to build your onigirazu

  • Place the nori sheet in front of you, with a corner in your direction.
  • Place 2-3 tbsp of rice in the middle, pressing lightly to form an evened out square shape. To do this, I recommend moistening your hands so you can handle the rice more easily.
  • Remember to leave a margin around the rice to close our sushi sandwich.
  • Add the seasoning in the middle, and seal it with a last layer of rice. This step is very important. Always remember to add a thin layer of rice between the nori sheet and the filling, or you will risk that the seaweed will lose its crunchy texture.

How to wrap it up

how to wrap an onigarazu

Do you know how to make a present package? The process is the same.

Imagine that the wrapping paper is your nori sheet, and the glue are your hands slightly moistened with a bit of water (if the rice you used is warm, the water won’t even be necessary as the moisture will act as a glue).

  • Squeeze the filling slightly, trying to keep the original square shape (it will make it easier to close).
  • Place the right and left corners in the middle of the filling. Form folds on the top and bottom to ensure that the rice does not come out, and bring the top and bottom corners towards the center.
  • Turn the onigirazu with the closure downwards so that it seals further. You just wrapped yourself a delicious gift.
  • Now that you got the basics of onigirazu, here are three onigirazu recipes with a little touch of Western influence to try out.

Onigirazu with Umeboshi paste and Fried Tofu

I don’t often give names to the dishes I cook (actually I never do), but in this case, I made an exception and connected each name to a characteristic that marks them out.

This onigirazu in particular, I like to call it “The Refreshing” thanks to the presence of the umeboshi paste, which gives that salty, sour taste, able to resurrect our taste buds.

For the rice filling, I simply added 1 tbsp of toasted white sesame and a pinch of salt.

Onigirazu umeboshi tofu


Serving: 2 onigirazu

  • 2 nori sheets
  • 300 g pre-cooked rice seasoned with two tbsp of roasted white sesame
  • 2 big tbsp of umeboshi paste
  • 2 shiso leaves
  • 1 tbsp pickled onion (well-drained)
  • 1 small tofu block, medium soft type, frozen overnight and then thawed
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp jump
  • 2 tbsp flour

Onigirazu umeboshi tofu recipes


This recipe requires only one special preparation: the tofu steak.

  1. Put the tofu in the refrigerator and let it freeze completely (I recommend putting it in the evening for the next day). Why is this step important? This will change the consistency of the proteins contained in the tofu to give it a more spongy texture capable of absorbing the flavors more easily.
  2. The next day, let it thaw at room temperature. Squeeze it lightly between your hands and pat it with kitchen paper to remove excess water. 
  3. In a bowl mix flour, turmeric, and salt. Cut the small block of tofu in half and bread on both sides. 
  4. Heat a pan with a tablespoon of oil, then add the tofu.
  5. Press lightly with the help of a spatula and cook for 3 min per side. Put them aside and let them cool.
  6. Assemble and close the onigirazu, by building up layers of filling following the instructions above.
  7. Close it with the nori sheet and enjoy it as a snack or in your bento.

Onigirazu with Edamame Hummus and Grilled Vegetables

I love the texture of this onigirazu thanks to the texture of the hummus in combination with grilled vegetables, that’s why I like to call it “The Creamy”.

Given the simplicity of the filling, I played with the style of rice, adding cereals and legumes (zakkokuma gohan) in the rice cooker.

It’s perfect for summer. Light and rich in good nutrients.


Serving: 2 onigirazu

  • 2 nori sheets
  • 300 g pre-cooked Zakkokuma rice
  • 2 tbsp edamame hummus
  • grilled vegetables seasoned with olive oil and salt (I used sweet red pepper, zucchini, and eggplant)

Onigirazu hummus grilled veg recipes


In the preparation of this onigirazu, special care must be given to the vegetables.

Once seasoned and grilled, I suggest you to dab the excess oil, or you will risk that your rice sandwich will become too oily, as both the rice and the nori sheet have a high absorbency capacity.

Onigirazu with Teriyaki Shiitake, Avocado, and Pesto

Not much to say about this recipe except that it’s my favorite.

I am a lover of rice donburi covered with colorful vegetables with different flavors and textures. One of my favorites features shiitake mushrooms cooked in teriyaki sauce with toasted white sesame along with fresh avocado.

This is where the inspiration for this Onigirazu comes from, all enriched with a tasty spoonful of Italian basil pesto.

For the rice filling, I simply added 1 tbsp of toasted black sesame and a pinch of salt.

Onigirazu pesto,avocado


Serving: 2 onigirazu

  • 2 nori sheets
  • 300 g pre-cooked rice seasoned with two tbsp of black sesame
  • 2 tbsp of pesto
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 4 large shiitake mushroom cut in slices, fried and seasoned with teriyaki sauce (made with a combination of sake, mirin, soy sauce, and sugar)

Onigirazu Pesto Avocado recipes

Here are the three onigirazu recipes that most satisfy my palate, but remember, the beauty of this dish is its versatility! Don’t be shy in creating different combinations of flavors that most make you happy!

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