Make a healthy & filling lunch with minimal effort and in just 10 minutes! This is the lunch to make when you’re starving and don’t feel like cooking.
What is Onigirazu?
Onigirazu is a Japanese rice ball that’s not pressed into the traditional triangle or ball shape. This delicious “rice ball” is assembled into a square, which means you can fit much more filling because you can spread them into an even layer.
And come one, who doesn’t love more filling?!
Another perk of making this Onigirazu recipe is that it’s SO easy to wrap! Unlike other onigiri recipes that take practice or a mold to get the hang of it, Onigirazu is beginner-friendly! All you need to keep in mind while building the layers is to keep a square shape.
Trust me, this seaweed sandwich is SO quick and easy to put together - making it the perfect filling snack or lunch on the go!
Here’s What You’ll Need
This Ongirazu recipe is made with the simplest ingredients that build layers of textures of flavors! Not to mention it keeps the prep time super quick since no cooking is involved.
Even though I LOVE to cook, some days I need a day off and this is the perfect meal for that!
Here’s what we need for the recipe:
- Nori sheets
- Cooked Japanese short-grain rice
- Protein: Canned tuna
- Veggies: Purple cabbage, cucumber, & carrots
- Condiment: Japanese mayo & Goma (toasted sesame) dressing
One thing to note is that for this recipe, I pour the Goma dressing straight into the seaweed sandwich because it makes it easier to eat on the go. However, you can also serve the condiment on the side and pour it onto the Ongirazu as you eat.
Tips for Building This Ongirazu Recipe
- Getting a Beautiful Ongiriazu Every Time: If you want to see the beautiful layers once you cut your Onigirazu open, lay our veggie pointing in the same direction. Make note of which direction they’re pointing and once the rice ball is sealed, cut the seaweed sandwich in the opposite direction.
- The Best Tool for this Recipe: Don’t underestimate the importance of plastic wrap for this recipe. It keeps the Ongirazu tightly bound, making it easier to cut and eat.
- Key Shape for Easy Folding: As you layer on your rice and fillings, try to keep everything in the shape of a square. This will make it easier to fold later!
- Avoid Sticky Fingers: It’s no secret that rice is sticky. You can avoid the rice sticking to your fingers by wetting them with a little water. Voila!
Don’t be shy to get creative with this Ongirazu recipe! One of my favorite things about this dish is that the possibilities are endless.
You can stuff it any leftover protein and veggies you have in the back of the fridge or swap them out with any of your fillings!
Here are a few variation ideas:
- Protein: Eggs, grilled meat, bulgogi, katsu, cheese, salmon
- Veggies: Spinach, lettuce, kimchi, avocado, pickled onion
- Condiments: Gochujang, mayo, ketchup, tonkatsu sauce
Let's Get Cooking!
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Creamy Sesame Tuna Ongirazu Recipe
- 1 5- oz canned tuna well-drained
- 2 tablespoons Japanese mayo
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 nori sheets
- 1 cup cooked Japanese short-grain rice
- 2 tablespoons Goma sesame dressing, or store-bought
- ½ cup purple cabbage shredded
- ½ cucumber thinly sliced
- ½ carrot thinly julienned
- In a mixing bowl, combine drained tuna, Japanese mayo, and salt. Set aside.
- Assemble the Onigirazu by laying a large piece of plastic wrap on a clean dry surface. The plastic wrap will help make the Onigirazu easier to cut and eat by holding everything together. Then, lay a nori sheet on top of the plastic wrap shiny side down, with one cover facing you.
- Wet your hands with water to prevent sticking then gently lay ¼ cup of cooked rice in the center of the nori sheet in the shape of a square. Pour 2 tablespoons of Goma dressing on top of the rice, being careful not to spill on the nori. I find pouring it directly in my Onigirazu easier to eat on the go, but you can also serve it on the side and pour it onto your seaweed sandwich as you eat.
- Then layer on some of the purple cabbage, cucumber, carrots, tuna, and finally another ¼ cup of cooked rice. The top layer of rice is the glue to keep the Onigirazu sealed. Keep all layers in a square shape.
- Seal the Ongirazu by gently folding each corner of the nori sheet to the center. Make sure the nori and fillings are tightly snug (without ripping the nori). This will make it easier to eat. Wrap the Onigirazu with plastic wrap. Again, you want to make sure the Onigirazu is tightly wrapped to keep its square shape. Repeat the process for the remaining Onigirazu.
- Once you’re ready to eat, you can cut it in half and enjoy!
- Rice: Japanese short-grain rice is stickier than long-grain rice and is typically labeled sushi or sweet rice. It can be easily found at local Asian and Japanese markets or online.
- Vegetables: Feel free to swap out or add in any of your favorite veggies! It's a great way to clear your fridge with any vegetables hanging out in the back.
Exact calculations may vary. For the most accurate nutritional information, use your preferred nutrition calculator, actual ingredients, and quantities used for the recipe. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian if more precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.