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Stories from Eat-Drink, Nourish

Stay Home & Cook: Kumi King’s Onigirazu (Japanese Rice Sandwich) Recipe

by Voices Wellness 27 May 2021
Photo: Kumi King

If you enjoy Japanese food, here’s a hearty and healthy snack that will leave you satisfied while you work from home. By KUMI KING; edited by SAMANTHA FRANCIS.

Inspired by onigirazu, a rice sandwich that’s a less time-consuming alternative to homemade bento boxes, this recipe comes with nutrition-rich proteins and vegetables. Just a single bite of the sandwich comes with carbohydrates, protein, minerals, and vitamins, as well as fibre from vegetables. The use of freshly cooked rice is recommended, as they stick together better.

Another pro tip? If you’re packing the onigirazu into a lunch box, be sure to keep the clingfilm on after slicing it into half so as to prevent the seaweed (nori) from sticking to each other. Visually pretty and tasty to boot, these handy sandwiches make great party food too.

Photo: Kumi King


260g Cooked Japanese rice

50g Minced meat (beef or chicken)

1Tbsp Chopped naganegi (Japanese leek)

2Tbsp Chopped green leaves

*In this recipe, komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach) was used.

30g Lettuce (3-4 leaves)

20g kimchi

½ Tbsp Chopped ginger

½ Tbsp Sake*

½ Tbsp Mirin*

½ Soy sauce*

½ Sugar*

1 + 1/2 large-sized sheet of nori 

½ cup Rice vinegar and water (for wetting the palm)

1 Egg (mixed with 1/8 tsp of sugar and soy sauce)

Oil for cooking


Soboro (minced meat cooked in soy sauce) 

  1. Place oil in a frying pan and cook ginger, chopped leeks, and green leaves at low to medium heat until ingredients are soft. Add minced meat and stir them well until the meat is brown then add all the *seasonings and continue to stir.
  2. Stop cooking when the seasonings have simmered away. Transfer them onto a plate to cool.


Egg sheet

  1. Beat an egg with sugar and soy sauce.
  2. Place some oil in a frying pan and warm it up, before pouring some egg mixture onto the frying pan. When the egg cooks immediately, it means that the frying pan is hot enough to pour the rest of the egg mixture.
  3. Move the frying pan gently to spread the egg evenly all around the frying pan to achieve a thin pancake.
  4. When the surface of the egg starts looking dry, use a spatula to flip the egg and cook the other side.
  5. When both sides of the egg are cooked, place it on a plate to cool. Slice the egg into quarters, like a pizza.



  1. Place a sheet of clingfilm on a clean surface (large enough to wrap the onigirazu) then put a sheet of full-size nori sheet on top.
  2. Divide the cooked rice into two equal portions. Wet your palm with vinegar water and put half portion of the rice in your palm. Create a ball shape with the rice, then gently flatten it (1.5cm thick) and place it in the middle of the nori sheet.
  3. Place lettuce, egg, minced meat, kimchi, and lettuce in this order on top of the rice as if you’re assembling a sandwich.
  4. Use the rest of the rice to repeat the same process as (2) to make another rice patty and place the rice on top of (3) and press gently.
  5. Bring every corner of nori sheet to the centre of rice (if your rice sandwich is too tall to wrap with one sheet of Nori, use 1/2 the sheet to cover the top surface of rice), with all four corners meeting in the middle of the rice.
  6. Wrap (5) with cling film tightly and create the shape of a rice sandwich.
  7. Slice in the middle of the rice from outside the clingfilm.
  8. Serve on a plate.


About Kumi King

Kumi believes in lifelong learning and enjoys passing her knowledge forward as a teacher. Formerly a Pilates Instructor, Kumi is passionate about the Japanese plant-based culinary scene, She’s a Macrobiotic Master, as well as an expert in shojin ryori (Japanese Temple Food). Kumi’s mission is to help improve people’s health by the incorporation of fermented cuisine in everyday life.

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