Step to Making a Onigirazu Rice Ball Sandwich

Onigirazu Rice Ball Sandwich

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Onigirazu is a variation on a Japanese rice ball or onigiri. Onigiri is traditionally shaped like a ball or triangle, while onigirazu is shaped into a square or rectangle shape. It is essentially a hybrid rice ball sandwich.

Onigirazu should not erroneously be called a sushi sandwich. A sushi sandwich would use vinegared, seasoned rice. Onigirazu uses plain, white rice. The word "sushi," in culinary circles, is a reference to the type of rice used.

  • 01 of 09

    Place Rice on Dried Nori Seaweed

    rice on top of a seaweed sheet

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

    • Make sure your workspace is prepped to make onigirazu by laying a large piece of plastic wrap over a clean dry cutting board or another hard flat surface.
    • Lay a large sheet (approximately 7 inches by 8 inches) of dried seaweed (nori) squarely on the plastic wrap.
    • Spread about 1/2 cup steamed rice in the center of the dried seaweed in a diamond shape, with the tip of the diamond at the top of the sheet of seaweed. Make sure your rice paddle is moistened with water to help prevent rice from sticking.
    • Optional: sprinkle dried roasted sesame seeds over the steamed rice for additional flavor.
    Continue to 2 of 9 below.
  • 02 of 09

    Add Fillings and Cover with Additional Rice

    rice and vegetables on top of a seaweed sheet

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

    • Lay fillings over the layer of rice. Use any filling for your onigirazu that you would choose for making a sandwich. For example, ham and cheese, tuna, chicken salad, or egg salad, plus vegetables such as cucumber, kimchi, or carrots.
    • Lay additional cooked rice, about 1/2 cup, on top of the fillings. Maintain the diamond shape of the bottom layer of rice.
    Continue to 3 of 9 below.
  • 03 of 09

    Close One Corner of the Seaweed Sheet

    seaweed wrapped around the rice and vegetables

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

    • Using the plastic wrap, pull one edge of the dried seaweed sheet towards the center of the "diamond" rice.
    • Press down to seal the seaweed to the rice, then peel back the plastic wrap.
    Continue to 4 of 9 below.
  • 04 of 09

    Close the Opposite Corner

    seaweed wrapped around the rice and vegetables

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

    • Again using the plastic wrap, pull the opposite corner (from the corner just sealed) of the seaweed sheet and press securely onto the rice.
    • Peel back the plastic wrap.
    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Wrap the Remaining Corners

    wrapping seaweed around the rice

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

    • Close the remaining corners of the onigirazu by folding in the dried seaweed sheet, and again peeling back the plastic wrap.
    • When all corners are folded closed, seal the onigirazu with the plastic wrap.
    Continue to 6 of 9 below.
  • 06 of 09

    Seal the Onigirazu

    forming the onigirazu rice ball

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

    • Keep the onigirazu in the plastic wrap as it will help seal it closed. Gently press down on the onigirazu to help the dried seaweed stick to the rice and hold its shape.
    Continue to 7 of 9 below.
  • 07 of 09

    The Finished Product

    Onigirazu Rice Ball Sandwich wrapped in plastic wrap

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

    • The finished onigirazu looks like a square rice sandwich covered in dried seaweed. It is ready to go. It can be packed in a lunch box or taken on-the-go for a snack.
    Continue to 8 of 9 below.
  • 08 of 09

    Slice in Half (Optional)

    Onigirazu Rice Ball Sandwich sliced in half

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

    • With the plastic wrap still intact, slice the onigirazu in half with a sharp knife. For best results use a ceramic knife. Rice can sometimes get sticky. To prevent the rice from sticking to the knife, moisten the knife with water.
    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Eat Now or Save for Later

    Onigirazu Rice Ball Sandwich

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

    • Once your onigirazu is sliced in half, its ready to be eaten. Enjoy it immediately as a snack or your meal. You can save it for later by packing it in your bento lunch or just take it to go as a meal on the run.