If you like sushi or onigiri, you’ll like onigirazu! Just a different iteration of similar ingredients, pretty much a sushi sandwich surrounded by nori. These are easy to make and the varieties are limited only to what you can think up.
I’ve been making these for my husband’s lunch bentos and quick lunches for myself. You can absolutely prepare these the night ahead as well, but I wouldn’t go any further, rice and refrigeration don’t play nice together unfortunately.
This takes some effort and I’ve included the instructions on how to make the chicken, but it’s completely acceptable and encouraged to use leftovers so feel free to swap.
Makes two fairly large onigirazu.
What you need:
- 1 cup japanese short grain rice, rinsed
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 4oz chicken breast, sliced in half horizontally and pounded 1/4″ flat
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 large egg + 2 tbsp water, whisked
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- salt and pep
- oil for frying
- cooked rice, cooled to room temp
- 2 pieces chicken katsu
- 1/4 cup nappa cabbage, finely shredded
- 2 tbsp katsu sauce (we prefer Bulldog brand)
- 2 sheets roasted nori
- plastic wrap
- Begin by making the rice. In a medium sized heavy bottomed pot, add rice, salt and water. Bring to a boil and immediately turn down to low, place a lid on top and cook for 18 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes with lid still on. Remove lid, fluff gently with a rice paddle and let cool to room temp.
- Prepare your chicken. Depending on the size of your chicken, I like to slice the large ones in half horizontally. Place chicken in between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until 1/4″ thick. Set up a breading station with a dish for each of flour, egg mixture, and bread crumbs. Lightly season each station, and the chicken with a good sprinkling of salt and pepper. Begin by tossing the chicken in the flour, shaking excess, dipping into the egg, then into the panko, pressing lightly so it adheres. Repeat with second half.
- In a large sautee pan with 1/4″ of neutral oil in the bottom, gently fry chicken until it’s golden brown and crisp on each side. It should be thin enough that it’ll cook very fast. Set aside too cool.
Making the Onigirazu
- Lay out a single sheet of nori with the corner pointing towards you. It’s easiest to handle the rice with wet hands so have a small bowl of water and tea towel handy. In the center, place 1/4 of the rice in a square shape.
- Top with 1/2 each of chicken, bulldog sauce and cabbage.
- Form a second square of rice and gently place on top.
- Carefully fold each corner into the center, completely wrapping the rice.
- Gently wrap with plastic wrap and let sit a minute while you prepare the second one.
- Once both are completed, with plastic wrap still on, gently slice down the middle and serve cut side up.
That’s it! Easy right? A few things that may help:
- If your chicken is oblong or oddly shaped you may have to trim the edges so it somewhat matches the size of the rice square. Eat the excess as a snack, you earned this.
- These are super easy to overfill so use your judgement, if you think you won’t be able to wrap the nori around, scale back a bit.
- If you wish to take this for lunch the following day, instead of slicing, wrap again (or place into an airtight container) and place into the fridge.
- Use whatever you have to fill it. Tuna, fish, veggies, avocado-any kind of “sushi” flavours you prefer!