Sushi Sandwiches Three Ways (Onigirazu)


Japanese cuisine has a long history of taking other countries’ foods, and making it their own. It’s such a thing that there’s even a term coined for it, called “wafu style” that directly translates to “Japanese style”. From pasta and pizza (made “wafu” with uniquely Japanese flavours) to this here sushi sandwich, also known as onigirazu.

This sandwich was first conceptualised in a popular cooking manga circa 1985 called Cooking Papa. The manga followed the journey of a handsome salary man’s culinary adventures, preparing delicious bento boxes and lunches for his busy, successful journalist wife (love that for her!). One of the many delicious recipes to come out of the series is this onigirazu. Made with love and packed with flavour, it’s a simple recipe easily customized to fill with your heart’s desires!

What you need



  • 6 cups cooked sushi rice
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. white sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 6x seaweed sheets
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Vegan mayo 
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced 
  • ½ cup pickled radish, sliced
  • 1 carrot, shaved thinly
  • 3 tbsp. neutral oil 
  • 1 cup red cabbage, sliced thinly (quick pickle optional)


Tofu onigirazu

  • 200g block of hard tofu, sliced 
  • 1 tbsp. teriyaki sauce 
  • 1 tbsp. vegan mayo

Teriyaki Salmon onigirazu

  • 2 pieces cooked, mashed salmon
  • 1 tbsp. teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Kewpie mayo


Tuna onigirazu

  • 2 cans tuna or vegan tuna 
  • 2 tbsp. furikake (Japanese rice seasoning)
  • 4 tbsp. Kewpie or vegan mayo
  • 1 tbsp. Sriracha 
  • 1 tsp. salt 


To serve (optional)

  • Soy sauce
  • Wasabi 


Step 1

Cook the rice as per packet instructions, then fold through your vinegar, salt and sugar. Cover and set aside.

Step 2

For the tofu filling: add your teriyaki sauce to a bowl. Drop your tofu in there to marinate for at least 10 minutes. Afterwards, either shallow fry the tofu in neutral oil for 3-4 minutes on each side, or air fry for 10 minutes at 200 degrees. Set aside. 

Step 3

For the tuna filling: mash the tuna in a bowl and stir through the mayo, sriracha furikake and salt. Set aside.

Step 4

For the salmon filling: add the mashed salmon, teriyaki sauce and Kewpie mayo to a bowl and mix well. Set aside.

Step 5

To assemble your sushi sandwich, lay a piece of cling wrap on your bench then place a piece of seaweed (shiny side down) on top. Grab about ⅓ cooked rice and spread it in a square diagonally on the nori sheet. It should look like a diamond on top of a rectangle. 

Step 6

Top the rice with your choice of toppings. For the tofu, we added extra mayo, sriracha, avocado, pickled radish, lettuce, carrot and some pickled red cabbage. Top with another thin layer of rice then fold the corners of nori in so they meet – like a present! Wrap the sandwich tightly with cling wrap. 

Step 7

Repeat with the tuna and salmon fillings. We added lettuce, cucumber, avocado and some more furikake to these. Top with rice, then fold and wrap again.

Step 8

Let this sit for a few minutes so the rice binds with the seaweed before cutting in half. If you’re taking this with you on the go, leave wrapped until ready to eat. Itadakimasu!


  • Fillings: As mentioned, you can fill this like you fill a sandwich or sushi roll – which is to say, with anything really!

  • Rice: Sushi or other short grain rice works best here as it’s glutinous and sticky enough to hold everything together. But if you are without (like I was when making this recipe for the first time), a medium grain rice seasoned well with the vinegar, sugar & salt also does the trick! 

  • Teriyaki sauce (optional): Make your own teriyaki sauce by combining 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tsp sesame oil and 1 tsp sriracha.

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