A cross between an onigiri and a sandwich, this Scrambled Teriyaki Tofu Onigirazu is easy to make and so much fun to eat!
Onigiri are balls of rice stuffed with a savoury filling, shaped into a triangular shape and covered in nori seaweed.
They are sold widely in supermarkets, convenience stores and even vending machines in Japan, as well as often being made at home for packed lunches.
Onigirazu, which seem to be a fairly recent invention, combine the ingredients traditionally used in onigiri with the shape and practicality of a sandwich!
For onigiri, the rice is often mixed with tiny flakes of seaweed or red shiso (a Japanese herb, also known as perilla). These act as seasoning agents, and really make the whole thing taste so much better!
I decided to adhere to this tradition for this Scrambled Teriyaki Tofu Onigirazu, and went for some dried seaweed flakes, sesame seeds and Japanese seven-spice powder (you can substitute with cayenne chilli powder if you don't have this).
For the filling of these Onigirazu, I went for scrambled teriyaki tofu. I was a little dubious about scrambled tofu at first, but it actually tasted SO much better than any of the other fillings I've previously stuffed my onigirazu with.
The secret to making the tofu taste good is to use a soft, silky version rather than a hard, firm one and to drain the water from it really well.
You should use a tofu press or leave it in the fridge overnight for the excess water to drain away into a bowl. And make sure you fry it with plenty of seasoning!
I did try adding other vegetables, but they released water and the end product ended up a bit too mushy, so the only other thing I'd recommend adding would be sliced spring onions.
But I felt the scrambled tofu tasted delicious by itself, mostly because the teriyaki sauce makes it so flavourful. Plus there's no veggie cravings a little side salad can't fix.
I hope you love these Onigirazu as much as I do! I can't get enough of the wonderful combination of the sticky rice seasoned with nutty sesame, umami-rich seaweed and a little spicy kick from the chilli, paired with the perfectly tender, salty-sweet scrambled teriyaki tofu filling.
I decided to use brown rice for these, but you could use white rice and cut down the cooking time considerably.
And now to address the elephant in the room – these Onigirazu may look like a nightmare to make, but trust me, they’re really not that hard. If I can do it, so can you! They're much easier and less fiddly than onigiri, and you don't have to wait for the rice to cook either.
If you find yourself confused by my instructions in the recipe below, there are loads of videos online that will definitely give you the confidence to make these at home yourself!
These Onigirazu are absolutely perfect for packed lunches, as they keep well for up to a few hours after being made. I like to serve them with some quick-pickled Chinese cabbage, pickled ginger and other veggies - they pair particularly well with this Broccoli and Edamame with Sesame Dressing or this Miso Seaweed Salad.
I hope you'll love this Scrambled Teriyaki Tofu Onigirazu! For more fun plant-based sushi recipes, check out my:
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Scrambled Teriyaki Tofu Onigirazu (Vegan + GF)
For the tofu:
- 300 g (10oz) silken tofu
- 1 tablespoon oil (vegetable or rapeseed)
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- 3 teaspoons tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free)
- 3 teaspoons mirin (or sub 2 teaspoons any other sweetener)
- Ground black pepper, to taste
For the onigirazu:
- 2 sheets nori seaweed
- 2 portions cooked brown rice or Japanese sushi rice
- 1 teaspoon dried seaweed flakes (optional)
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds (optional)
- Pinch Japanese seven-spice powder to taste (optional)
For the tofu:
- Drain excess water away from the tofu - place a small bowl upside down inside a large bowl then place tofu on top of the upturned smaller bowl. Leave in the fridge overnight for the water to drain away. Alternatively use a tofu press and skip this step
- Heat up the oil in a frying pan and once hot, add all the ingredients for the tofu and use a spatula or spoon to break up the tofu into small pieces
- Fry the tofu for around 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until it's cooked through
For the onigirazu:
- Add the seaweed flakes, sesame seeds and seven-spice powder to the cooked rice and mix well. Divide the rice into four portions
- Place a sheet of nori over a sheet of cling film
- Place a quarter of the rice in a small square in the middle of the nori sheet
- Place half of the tofu filling over the rice, in the same shape
- Add another quarter of the rice to cover the tofu and wrap the edges of the nori over the whole 'parcel' - the nori should stick to all sides of the rice
- Wrap the cling film around it and let rest for a couple of minutes for it to take shape
- Remove the cling film, transfer to a chopping board and cut in half with a wet knife
- Repeat for the other onigirazu
- Either enjoy immediately or keeps wrapped and chilled for several hours
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Genius! Can't wait to try this out.
Thanks Cheri! Hope you like it ?
Made this for lunch today and it was lovely. Thanks for the creative recipes!