Main image of Vegan Onigirazu: Rice Sandwiches

Vegan Onigirazu: Rice Sandwiches

43 min

Meal

Sandwich

Make-ahead

On-the-go

You might have heard of onigiri, a Japanese rice ball wrapped in seaweed, that can be filled with all kinds of tasty things. Onigirazu, on the other hand, is filled more generously and is shaped into a flattened square resembling a sandwich, which makes it the perfect lunch to take with you on the go. For this sandwich, we're making a filling that resembles the taste of tuna salad, but veganized.

onigirazu

Total

43 min

Prep

30 min

Cook

13 min

Free from

Soy symbol

soy

Peanut symbol

peanut

Treenut symbol

tree nut

Sesame symbol

sesame

Gluten symbol

gluten

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups (300 g)
    uncooked Japanese short-grain rice
  • 2 cups (328 g)
    cooked chickpeas
  • ¼ cup (36 g)
    chopped pickles
  • ¼ cup (60 mL)
    vegan mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbsp (30 g)
    minced onion
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL)
    ketchup
  • 1½ Tbsp (22 mL)
    rice vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tsp (5 g)
    granulated sugar (optional)
  • ¼ tsp
    salt (optional)
  • 6
    nori seaweed sheets
  • ½
    cucumber, thinly sliced using a vegetable peeler
  • ½ cup (35 g)
    shredded red cabbage
  • 6
    butter lettuce leaves

Serves well with

Make your own

Directions

  1. Wash the rice and cook it according to the package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, use a fork to mash the chickpeas. Then add the mayo, onion, pickles, and ketchup and mix to combine.
  3. Optional step: to make flavoured rice, add the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt to a small bowl and mix until the sugar has dissolved completely.
  4. When the rice is cooked, transfer it to a large shallow bowl to cool off slightly and gently stir in the vinegar mixture while the rice is still warm. Be careful not to over-stir.
  5. Take a nori sheet and lay it out with the point towards yourself and rough side up. Place a bowl of water next to you for dipping your fingers into. Wet your fingers with a little bit of water so that the rice won't stick to your hands as much.
  6. Scoop out a packed ⅓ of a cup of sushi rice and place it in the middle of the nori sheet. Use your hands to shape it into a square of ½ inch (1 cm) thickness. Form the square such that the flat side is facing you (see the photo for guidance).
  7. On top of the rice square, add a layer of lettuce, followed by 3 packed tablespoons of the chickpea mixture. Using the back of a spoon, spread out the chickpea mixture to align with the shape of the rice underneath it.
  8. Then add on top a single layer of sliced cucumber and red cabbage.
  9. Dip your fingers in more water, and then scoop up another ⅓ of a cup of sushi rice. Add this scoop into the palm of your hand, and use your fingers to form another rice square about ½ inch (1 cm) thick. Gently place this on top of the sandwich*.
  10. Fold in two opposite points of the nori sheet so that they meet on top of the rice, and use a bit of water to help them stick together where they meet.
  11. Then, as if wrapping a present, tuck in and then fold over and the other two points to fully enclose the rice and fillings inside the nori. Use a little bit of water to close and seal the rice sandwich. Set it aside for 5 minutes while preparing the remaining sandwiches.
  12. Cut the onigirazu in half using a sharp, slightly wet knife which helps the rice from sticking to the knife. Garnish with black sesame seeds and serve with sriracha mayo and soy sauce!

Notes

  • The rice might be labelled as "sushi rice" at your grocery store.
  • * Alternatively, you can place this rice right on top of the pile of veggies and shape it into a square when the rice is on the stack. It might fall apart a little bit this way, but don't worry too much about it. It doesn't need to be perfect.

Storage

  • The onigirazu is best when enjoyed on the same day, but can be stored uncut, wrapped in kitchen towel in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • The kitchen towel will help to prevent the rice from drying out. Just cut the onigirazu in half on the day you're ready to enjoy!

Let us know what you think

Plate method

The Plate Method is a visual tool that helps us ensure our dietary needs are on track. Touch the image below to see how this recipe measures up.

Grains & Starches 41%

uncooked Japanese short-grain rice

Proteins 18%

cooked chickpeas

Fruits & Veggies 41%

chopped pickles

minced onion

nori seaweed sheet

cucumber

shredded red cabbage

butter lettuce leaf

Calcium
No significant sources of calcium
Fat

vegan mayonnaise

Nutrition info

We believe that focusing on numbers can harm our relationship with food. Instead, our philosophy is to Nourish the Cells & the Soul. If you require specific nutrition information due to a medical condition, please consult with a dietitian or physician. The nutritional information provided is composed with the utmost care. However, we cannot guarantee the correctness of the displayed values, see also our disclaimer.

Show nutrition info  

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Discussion & Rating

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Anna - Sept. 11, 2022, 3:12 p.m.

I've seen onigirazu recipes before, but they always seemed a bit intimidating to me. You made it look so approachable, I had to try it. It turned out great, so thank you for the recipe and the encouragement contained within it! <3
I'm thinking that next time I'd play around with proportions a bit. Do you think it would still work with only one layer of rice and more veggies?

PUL Team - Sept. 12, 2022, 4:43 p.m.

It means so much, Anna, thank you! We find the two outer layers of rice helpful to keep the Onigirazu from falling apart. A thinner layer of rice on both sides may work better than just one layer of rice, although feel free to try with just one layer if desired 🙂


Emma - Aug. 13, 2022, 10:48 p.m.

Absolutely perfect! My technique for making the sandwiches needs improving though because after the first bite, I had everything in my plate and no food in my hand anymore 😂 maybe I'll try in "sushi shape" instead of sandwiches.

PUL Team - Aug. 14, 2022, 6:48 a.m.

This one certainly gets easier with time and practice but we're so glad it was enjoyed, Emma! Thank you 🙂


Danielle - July 19, 2022, 11:31 p.m.

This was delicious! My husband loved it as well! I ended up making sushi burritos as well. I used these for the veggies: lettuce, shredded carrot, cucumber, and avocado. I never thought of adding beans to sushi! What a fun way to bulk up sushi. Will be adding this to the lunch rotation! Thank you!

PUL Team - July 20, 2022, 3:51 a.m.

Woohoo! So glad the onigirazu was enjoyed, Danielle, and thank you for sharing your experience with it 🤗


SW - July 16, 2022, 1:52 a.m.

I honestly was a little intimidated to try this recipe. Wow! I’m so glad I did. I quickly got the idea of the water and everything turned out so beautifully and delicious! Such a win! Thanks for sharing!!!

PUL Team - July 16, 2022, 7 a.m.

Beyond thrilled to hear, SW, it means so much! Thank you 🙂


Nila - July 6, 2022, 8:36 p.m.

Hello, can anyone tell me how much one serving size is for the amount of calories?

PUL Team - July 7, 2022, 12:32 a.m.

Hey Nila, the serving size is one Onigirazu. Kindly note that as the disclaimer mentions, this is an estimate and if you need specific nutrition information due to a medical condition, please consult with a healthcare professional, such as a dietitian or physician 😊


Tiffany - June 28, 2022, 5:43 p.m.

I was very nervous trying this at first. But they are delicious and easy to make! You have to take your time at the end and really use water with the nori sheets, but you pick it up very quickly. I change the vegetables inside according to what I have in the fridge or cupoard, and it's always delicious. I would just say I never succeeded with the cucumber slices, but it doesn't bother me. A great sandwich and great recipe!

PUL Team - June 29, 2022, 1:42 a.m.

Oh, Tiffany, we're smiling from ear to ear! Thank you for the lovely feedback. Switching up the vegetables is a delicious idea 😍


Jill - June 11, 2022, 3:29 p.m.

Would I be able to sub in jasmine rice or glutinous rice instead of the sushi rice? This is all I have on hand ☹️

PUL Team - June 15, 2022, 3:48 a.m.

Hey Jill, jasmine rice is a long grain rice so it's texture is a tad different and it's less sticky than sushi rice. We've heard a positive review for using jasmine rice in terms of taste but the sandwiches will fall apart easily. As for glutinious rice, it tends to be more sweet which may not be as desirable compared to the jasmine rice option. Do let us know if you end up giving it a try 🙂

Nathan - Oct. 27, 2022, 10:21 p.m.

I also used jasmine rice, i just mixed it so it would be more sticky. It worked just fine for me so feel free to try it out :)


Sciota - June 10, 2022, 2:51 a.m.

Easy to make and delicious


Brooke - May 23, 2022, 9:43 p.m.

Hi!! At my grocery store it only has short grain sweet rice, and the other one is organic short grain brown rice. Which one would you say I use or should I use normal rice??

PUL Team - May 24, 2022, 3:34 a.m.

Hey there, Brooke, short-grain rice is recommended in this one instead of other rice as short-grain rice tends to clump together whereas longer varieties become more fluffy and will likely fall apart. Both the sweet rice (which is quite sticky) and short-grain brown rice (which is less sticky) would work here, so it's whichever you prefer. We hope this helps for now, Brooke, and you enjoy the recipe if you're able to give it a try!

Brooke - May 25, 2022, 9:38 p.m.

Thank you very much. I'm exicted to try it!!


Gabrielle - April 14, 2022, 2:27 a.m.

I added homegrown kale massaged with toasted sesame oil and sesame seed and really enjoyed it! I was hesitant about the chickpea mixture, but it was a crucial addition. I think I'll add some quick-pickled veg next time too.
Thanks for such a fun new recipe!

PUL Team - April 14, 2022, 7:52 a.m.

Mmm sounds like a delicious pairing, Gabrielle! We're so thrilled the recipe was enjoyed ☺️


Chloe - April 8, 2022, 4:27 a.m.

I was so skeptical when I saw this had pickles in it but holy wow these are good! I added some sriracha to the filling to spice it up a little and I ended up just rolling them like a normal sushi roll because I used a lettuce mix that made it a bit difficult to stack everything. My partner absolutely loved them too. Will definitely be making these regularly - such a quick, easy and tasty recipe!

PUL Team - April 10, 2022, 9:38 p.m.

Mmm love the addition of sriracha and the alternative rolling sounds lovely, Chloe! We're so glad it was enjoyed :)


Elene Lindberg - March 12, 2022, 7:25 p.m.

Love this recipe!!


Breanna - March 4, 2022, 12:16 a.m.

These onigirazu are the next-level upgraded version of sandwiches. When I was a kid my lunches were super boring and unappetizing. Now, lunch is always enjoyable. Every PUL recipe that I’ve tried so far are always impressive and unique. I’m glad I found PUL. Thank you so much 😊

PUL Team - March 4, 2022, 6:03 a.m.

Oh we're so thrilled the PUL recipes are being enjoyed, Breanna, it means so much💚


Afsana - March 2, 2022, 10:18 a.m.

Beautiful recipe. I’ve just made batch for my 3 children’s school lunches 👍

PUL Team - March 2, 2022, 4:58 p.m.

Aw we hope they enjoy lunch, Afsana, thank you!


Clara - Feb. 28, 2022, 8:24 a.m.

What an interesting recipe to try ! I must admit that the packing wasn't easy and it needs some practice but the taste Was heavenly ! Especially the vegan 'tuna' surprised me :)

PUL Team - Feb. 28, 2022, 8:15 p.m.

Hey Clara, thanks for sharing your experience with it! The packing indeed gets easier with practice, but we're glad it was still enjoyed 😃


Kristen - Feb. 27, 2022, 9:51 p.m.

This was so yummy! Made it for lunch on Sunday and had lots of fun doing it! Definitely alittle challenging, but totally worth it and very entertaining. Thanks for another great recipe!

PUL Team - Feb. 28, 2022, 7:58 p.m.

It's a bit of a labour of love and we're so glad it was worth it, Kristen!


Sabrina - Feb. 20, 2022, 12:57 p.m.

I made this yesterday to enjoy with friends. Even the children loved it. It was a huge success. It took me two tries to get the seaweed pakkaging richt, but even than it looked spectacular. Thank you. I will definetely make this again.

PUL Team - Feb. 20, 2022, 9:52 p.m.

Woop woop! We appreciate the glowing review so much, Sabrina, it means so much 😃


Sally - Feb. 16, 2022, 3:55 p.m.

Planning to make this soon but think I may use kimchi instead of the purple cabbage. I love Japanese food and make it quite frequently. Perfect lunch on the go item. Bust out the Bento boxes! 😋🥰

PUL Team - Feb. 16, 2022, 10:15 p.m.

Mmm we hope you enjoy the recipe if you're able to give it a try, Sally!


Shruti - Feb. 8, 2022, 5:22 a.m.

I usually love your recipes, but this was too bland for me. It was also tricky shaping the sticky rice and overall was a bit messy, and not worth it for the taste for me. Anyway thanks for the recipe, it was fun to make, and healthy.

PUL Team - Feb. 8, 2022, 11:19 p.m.

Hi there, Shruti, we're sorry to hear the recipe was bland - how disappointing! If you kindly remember, were all of the ingredients in the listed portions used? We enjoy having this one with sauce, especially sriracha mayo, so that may help add some flavour if you have any leftovers. The sandwiches come together a tad more effortlessly with more practice, although we've noted down the feedback in any case. So glad it was a fun recipe 😊


Parnian - Feb. 3, 2022, 10:13 p.m.

I absolutely love this recipe! 😍
The chickpea tastes exactly like Tuna, you opened a new door to my life 😆

PUL Team - Feb. 4, 2022, 3:33 a.m.

We appreciate the kind words, Parnian, so happy to hear 😃


Michaela - Feb. 2, 2022, 9:02 p.m.

just finished eating. soooo delicious!
we take red cabbage ,,sauerkraut with jalapenos and garlic" instead of forgetting to buy red cabbage.

PUL Team - Feb. 3, 2022, 5:24 a.m.

So glad it was enjoyed, Michaela, thank you!


Maria - Feb. 1, 2022, 12:21 p.m.

We loved this


Kaylin - Jan. 25, 2022, 1:07 a.m.

This is so creative and the flavors are so amazing! I am having such a hard time wrapping them haha but I know I just need more practice. I've made two and the second was wrapped much better already. Thank you for this!

PUL Team - Jan. 27, 2022, 2:07 a.m.

Hi Kaylin! Thanks a bunch for sharing your experience with it. A bit of repetition is helpful indeed 😃


Nikki - Jan. 23, 2022, 3:17 p.m.

This was so much fun to make and it tasted great. I used tuna intead of chick peas.

Just a suggestion - Feb. 7, 2022, 3:39 p.m.

Perhaps you could try remaking the recipe with chickpeas. Since they're better for the environment, animals and just as tasty.


Sophie - Jan. 22, 2022, 5:02 p.m.

I used the chickpea 'tuna' for sushi and OMG this is so goood. Excited to try onigirazu next time :D

PUL Team - Jan. 23, 2022, 8:15 p.m.

Woohoo! We hope you enjoy the onigirazu just as much, Sophie :D


Sarah - Jan. 21, 2022, 5:55 a.m.

I enjoyed making these! And both my husband and I enjoyed eating them! We both love to cook and try new recipes, so this was a fun one. Will be making it again!

PUL Team - Jan. 21, 2022, 7:04 a.m.

So happy it was enjoyed, Sarah, it means so much!


Andrea - Jan. 20, 2022, 1:47 a.m.

Hola! I absolutely adore this recipe! thank you so much for sharing it. I was unable to find the same seaweed sheets (I used roasted seaweed sheets and it did not work out very well lol) or the sushi rice (I used jasmine instead) the flavor was amazing!! ♡♡♡♡♡the presentation not much but my husband and definitely loved this recipe thank you so much!!

I am a huge fan of everything you do! I have shared many recipes with friends and family. You make vegan lifestyle so much easier and enjoyable for me and my husband ☺

I will try it again as soon as I can find the right seaweed ^^

PUL Team - Jan. 21, 2022, 6:04 a.m.

Hey Andrea, thanks for sharing your experience with it and the very kind words! You might find them in the international aisle or a local international grocery store if that's accessible where home is for you. Sometimes online grocers may sell them as well. We hope this helps for now and are so glad it was still enjoyed. Hugs to you and your husband 🤗


Carrie Lynch - Jan. 19, 2022, 12:42 p.m.

Thank you


Carrie Lynch - Jan. 19, 2022, 12:41 p.m.

Any information appreciate it

PUL Team - Jan. 19, 2022, 7:25 p.m.

Hey there, Carrie, is there anything we can help with? We'd love to provide any support or insight if able. You can also reach via email at [email protected] if desired 😊


Sumudu - Jan. 18, 2022, 11:17 p.m.

I usually don't comment but I had to let you all know. Absolutely loved this recipe. It was super easy to follow. The flavor combination was perfect. I was pleasantly surprised. I'm not much of a cook and my partner said I should definitely add this to the list of things I make well. :) I however didn't pay attention to the storage instructions and two of the sandwiches got messed up. Learned a good lesson for next time. Shared this with my coworkers and friends as well. Thank you!

PUL Team - Jan. 19, 2022, 7 p.m.

We're smiling from ear to ear, Sumudu, thank you for taking the time to share! It means so much that the recipe was shared as well. The storge for this one is a little unconventional, but so worth it to help preserve the freshness 😊


Gosia - Jan. 18, 2022, 9:32 p.m.

A bit time consuming but very yummy! I was overfilling them at first but number 5 and number 6 turned out beautiful.

The chickpea mixture tastes like the Polish egg spread/salad my mum makes! Gonna use it as a quick and easy bread spread!

PUL Team - Jan. 19, 2022, 6:51 p.m.

They're a labour of love but we're so glad it was enjoyed, Gosia! A bread spread is a lovely idea too 😃


Annna - Jan. 17, 2022, 3:52 p.m.

I've been wanting to try onigirazu for a long while now, but thought it would be too time consuming and difficult. So when I watched the Youtube video and saw that it seemed easy I decided to give it a try. It was a total hit! I made 12 portions, and hubby and I lived off of them until there were no more. We could easily have had them for several more days, we never got tired of the taste. These are perfect and among the best things I've ever eaten! Thank you so much for creating and sharing this recipe!

PUL Team - Jan. 18, 2022, 12:32 a.m.

Oh, Annna, this is such a huge compliment! It means so much the recipe was enjoyed 😃


Ko - Jan. 15, 2022, 3:41 p.m.

Really yummy and easy


Charlotte - Jan. 13, 2022, 7:16 p.m.

I absolutely loved these and they could be my new favourite thing! Making them was a lot of fun as I love trying out new techniques in the kitchen and after my first attempt where I struggled to seal the nori sheet, I added quarter cups of rice to each layer with the rest and it worked a treat. Perhaps my nori sheets were smaller than yours? I enjoyed these so much that I know for sure I will be back for more. 😍


Karla - Jan. 12, 2022, 9:44 a.m.

Just a small correction: milliliters are abbreviated "ml", not "mL".

This is something that has been bugging me a tiny bit for years. But don't be upset, your recipes are the best, and I also make the effort for years to translate them into German and save them in my recipe collection. :)

PUL Team - Jan. 12, 2022, 9:04 p.m.

Hey there, Karla, thanks for the feedback! We appreciate it to help PUL grow and improve. It was our understanding that either "ml" or "mL" could be used, but we'll take note of this and look into it further. So glad the recipes are being enjoyed and thank you for the support ☺️


Cate - Jan. 11, 2022, 9:16 a.m.

Loved this recipe! I used cucumber, hoisin tempeh in place of the chickpea mixture, sauerkraut and finely chopped red onion. Soooo good. I made miso wasabi vegan mayonnaise to have on the side.
I’m getting more ingredients to make these again as they were so tasty and I think my daughter would love them in her school lunch.

PUL Team - Jan. 12, 2022, 4:13 a.m.

Mmm sounds incredible, Cate, thanks a bunch for sharing 😍


Beth - Jan. 11, 2022, 6:08 a.m.

This is so delicious! My picky family members enjoyed helping assemble to their taste (especially the 3 year old) and the “tuna” is amazing!

PUL Team - Jan. 12, 2022, 4:07 a.m.

We're so glad it was enjoyed by everyone, Beth 😃


Jenn - Jan. 10, 2022, 1:16 p.m.

This was AMAZING! I didn't measure because when I want to enjoy the process, it means not a lot of clean up. I used a sweet onion, untoasted nori sheets, and I did not add the optional sugar. I cannot wait to make this again!

PUL Team - Jan. 11, 2022, 4:50 p.m.

Thanks for sharing the modifications with us, Jenn!


Hannah - Jan. 10, 2022, 12:17 a.m.

I liked the helpful step-by-step photos and video. My first attempt at wrapping the sandwiches fell apart, but the rest of the sandwiches turned out better. Thanks for a super delicious and creative new on-the-go lunch recipe! :)

PUL Team - Jan. 10, 2022, 3:37 a.m.

Hi Hannah, we're so glad the sandwiches stuck together more and were enjoyed ✨


Lilie - Jan. 9, 2022, 8:09 p.m.

Perfect ! I've made a double portion tonight, hoping to have one for tomorrow and it was soooooo goooooood, I eat it all 😂
I would totally make sandwiches with the chickpeas mix !
Thank you so much.

PUL Team - Jan. 10, 2022, 3:16 a.m.

Woohoo! So glad to hear, Lilie, thank you😃


Kelly - Jan. 9, 2022, 12:47 a.m.

This recipe was delicious. I didn't have cabbage, but I added lettuce, cucumber, avocado, and carrot. I love anything sushi-related so this is definitely a win in my book. It definitely takes practice when finishing the building of the ingredients that go in the seaweed, so mine kind of fell apart, but the main point is that it was super flavorful. I added some sesame seeds and sriracha mayo as garnish/sauce. I will definitely make it again and recommend it to everyone I know.

PUL Team - Jan. 10, 2022, 2:25 a.m.

Hey there, Kelly, thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience with this one! We find building the sandwiches gets easier with a bit of practice and repetition. We're so happy the recipe was enjoyed 🤗


Alice - Jan. 6, 2022, 9:52 p.m.

Fantastic!!!!


Jackie Harrison - Jan. 6, 2022, 7:13 p.m.

Wow 😯 I need to try this

PUL Team - Jan. 6, 2022, 10:24 p.m.

We hope you enjoy it if you're able to give it a try, Jackie!