Have you ever seen the emoji 🍙 on your phone and wondered how it is made?
Onigiri (or Japanese rice ball) is classic Japanese comfort food made from steamed rice with different fillings, shaped into a triangle, ball or cylinder shape and wrapped with a nori sheet.
Traditional Onigiri fillings range from umeboshi (Japanese pickled plum), tuna mayo, sha-ke (salted salmon). Yet there are many innovative ways to fill the rice balls. This blog post makes three vegan onigiri variations, using chickpea mayo (a plant-based alternative to tuna mayo), teriyaki tofu and edamame.
What makes this Vegan Onigiri recipe different?
This is a plant-based version of Onigiri, with three different filling suggestions:
- Chickpea ‘Tuna’: this is the plant-based version of tuna onigiri. To make this, all you have to do is mash chickpeas with a fork. Then combine them with vegan mayonnaise, soy sauce and shredded nori sheet.
- Teriyaki Tofu: the tofu is a wonderful meat substitute and it will take on the delicious teriyaki flavors using a few simple marinade ingredients.
- Edamame: the easier filling ever, just combine edamame with some soy sauce.
Other ingredients of Onigiri
Whereas the fillings may vary, the main ingredients of Onigiri are sushi rice and nori seaweed. You can cook the sushi rice according to the package instructions, or use other types of short-grain rice. The nori seaweed is then cut into sheets to wrap around the rice ball.
How to wrap Onigiri
There are three ways of wrapping Onigiri: by hand, with a plastic wrap and with an Onigiri mold. In this recipe, I show you how to make it by hand in the following steps. Watch the videos below the recipe to see the visual instructions for making these Japanese rice balls.
- Assemble your rolling station with a bowl of water, some salt, the cooked rice, the fillings and the cut nori sheet.
- First, wet your hand. This step prevents the rice from sticking to your hand. Then salt your hand, this will season the rice.
- Add 2 tbsp of rice, then followed by 1 tbsp of the filling in the middle and 1 tbsp of rice. Wrap it to ensure that the filling is covered by the rice.
- Press firmly to hold the shape that you want, it can be the triangle shape like in this recipe or a round shape.
- Wrap the nori sheet around the rice balls.
If you have tried my recipe, please let me know what you think by leaving me a review on this page or tagging me on Instagram @veggieanh. I would love to see your creations!Print