Onigirazu (also known as sushi sandwich) is a perfect meal or snack. It’s easy to make, and easy to take with you on-the-go. This recipe is vegan, naturally gluten-free, and made with tempeh (or tofu), spinach, pickled red cabbage, and carrots.
- 2 nori sheets
- about 2 cups of cooked sushi rice*
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced
- a few baby spinach leaves
- 4 tbsp red cabbage, thinly sliced and pickled (optional, see below)
- 1 tsp vegan mayo
- 1 tsp soy sauce
MARINATED TEMPEH OR TOFU
- 200 gr tempeh or tofu (pressed)**
- ¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tsp sriracha
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
QUICK PICKLED RED CABBAGE
- 1/4 red cabbage, sliced thinly
- 1 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar or maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
Optional for serving
Furikake or sesame seeds
Rinse the rice under cold water. I normally do this about 4-5 times until the water runs clear. Cook the rice in a rice cooker or on the stove top. Depending on the rice you are using, this takes about 5-6 minutes. When the rice is done, spread it out on a plate so it can cool off.
Combine the ingredients to marinate the tofu or tempeh. Press the tofu (see notes). Slice the tofu or tempeh in thin slices, about 1/2 centimeter (quarter inch).
In a small bowl combine the tamari or soy sauce, sriracha, maple syrup, and rice vinegar.
Whisk to combine. Pour the mixture over the tofu or tempeh. Let marinate for 30 minutes and then bake for 10-15 minutes at 180°C /350 °F until golden brown.
With a julienne peeler or mandoline slicer, shred the cabbage. Place the shredded cabbage in a sterilized jar. To sterilize the jar, submerge the jar in boiling water for about 10 minutes.
Place the thinly sliced cabbage, rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in the jar.
Make sure that the cabbage is fully submerged in the pickling liquid. Set aside for 6-8 hours.
FORMING THE ONIGIRAZU
Place a sheet of saran wrap on a clean work surface. On top of the saran wrap place a nori sheet with the shiny side down.
You can keep a small bowl with water on the side, to dip your fingers in so the rice will not stick to your fingers and it can also help to seal the nori sheet when you wrap it.
Place 1/2 tsp of vegan mayonnaise in the middle of the nori sheet. On top of that place a bit of rice. Form the rice by hand into a square or circle. And drizzle 1/2 tsp of soy sauce on top. Then add the other ingredients (spinach, carrots, tempeh or tofu, pickled cabbage, sriracha) and end with a layer of rice again.
See the photos and video above on how to place the rice and the nori sheet.
Fold the nori sheet by starting with the right or left corner of the nori sheet and fold that side to the opposite side. Do the same with the other side. Then fold the top or bottom tip of the nori sheet in the opposite direction. You should have a small packet now. If the tips of the nori sheet don’t stay put, wet the tips of your fingers with a bit of water.
While folding the nori sheet, use the saran wrap to tighten the onigirazu. Press down gently and set aside to rest for about 10 minutes to allow the nori sheet to soften.
Remove the saran wrap and with a sharp knife, cut the onigirazu in half. Serve or keep in the fridge for later.
Depending on the rice you use and the condiments, in general onigirazu can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.
*I have successfully made onigirazu with both long-grain and short-grain sushi rice, but also with jasmine rice and basmati rice. If you don’t overcook the rice I think this recipe can also be a success with brown rice.
**A tofu press makes pressing tofu very easy. But you can also press tofu with kitchen towels and a few heavy objects, such as books. Cover the tofu wrapped in paper towels on a plate, with another plate on top, and place the heavy objects on the plate. Drain the excess water and perhaps replace the paper towels when they are soaked. After 1 or 2 times the tofu should be fairly dry. Tofu without the excess water (pressed tofu) allows to absorb flavors much better.
Keywords: sushi, onigirazu, sushi sandwich, lunch, dinner, breakfast, snack, vegan, plantbased, dairyfree, glutenfree