Enjoy a healthy and gluten-free lunch by making onigirazu (sushi sandwiches) that can be stuffed with an array of ingredients!
Onigirazu are basically sandwiches in which the bread has been swapped with sushi and seaweed. They originated from Japan and are now very common in East Asian countries as they are often sold in convenience stores like 7-11. Many people grab these sandwiches on the go since they are packed with ingredients and are filling as well. Common onigirazu fillings include pork cutlets, egg pancake, spinach, pickled vegetables, ground meat, and more! As with any sandwich, these can be customized in any way which makes it an extremely versatile food.
I love how colorful these sandwiches can be. They are super filling and quite nutritious as well! For this recipe, I used a combination of brown and white rice to incorporate some more whole grains into my diet. I stuffed the inside with an egg pancake called tamagoyaki. Tamagoyaki is a sweetened egg pancake that is very common in Japanese cuisine and is sometimes used in nigiri. This pancake is commonly cooked in a specialty rectangle pan, but I used a 8 in. skillet and it worked just fine!
These sandwiches are simple to assemble, but I do have a couple pointers that can help with the process:
- Do not overfill the onigirazu, otherwise it can be difficult to wrap up and the seaweed may break. For me, the first onigirazu was a test trial and I knew how much of each ingredient to put after making the first one.
- Wrap the sandwich tightly so the contents do not fall out when eaten.
- Make sure the sushi rice is cooled before assembling.
- Mark the plastic wrap with a sharpie to remember which way to cut the onigirazu. This is not a big deal, but can affect how the cross-section may look.
Egg Onigirazu (Sushi Sandwich)
yield: 5-6 sandwiches (10-12 halves)
For Egg pancake (tamagoyaki):
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp hondashi (Hondashi is bonito dried fish powder for fish stock)
- 2 1/2 tbsp. warm water
- 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
- 3 c. sushi rice (I used a combination of brown and white rice. Sushi rice recipe here.) If using brown rice, cook for about 8 min. longer than white rice in a pressure cooker.
- 5-6 sheets nori seaweed
- 5-6 slices thick cut ham/Spam meat OR 10-12 slices thin cut ham (I used thin cut ham since I did not have thick cut ham) (2 slices of thin ham per sandwich)
- 10-12 leaves of green leaf or romaine lettuce (2 leaves per sandwich)
- 3/4 c. thinly sliced carrots
- Sriracha to top
- Kewpie or regular mayo to top
- In a medium sized bowl, add the hondashi and warm water and combine until the hondashi is dissolved. Crack in the eggs and beat together. Add in sugar and whisk until combined.
- Dip a small piece of paper towel in some oil, and rub the towel on the frying pan so that the egg won’t stick to the pan. (If using a non-stick pan, you do not have to use any oil at all)
- Heat the pan over low heat and pour a thin layer of the egg. Cook until the egg appears to be mostly cooked. This should only take about a min. or less since the egg layer is pretty thin.
- Using a spatula and chopsticks or a fork, roll the egg up tightly in the pan. Leave the egg roll on the side of the pan and grease the pan with the oil-soaked paper towel. Pour another thin layer of egg in the pan and make sure the egg batter touches the egg roll. This allows the egg batter to stick to the egg roll. Cook for another minute and roll the egg roll up using a spatula and chopsticks.
- Repeat this process until all the egg batter is used up. You should be left with a pretty thick egg roll. Transfer the egg roll to a sushi bamboo mat and roll it up tightly to shape the egg roll. This step is optional. The purpose is to compress the egg roll more. Set aside to cool. Slice the egg roll into slices. Slice the egg roll slices in half.
- To assemble the onigirazu, place a sheet of plastic wrap down and place a sheet of nori on top. Add sushi rice middle (about 1/3 c. OR more/less depending on nori sheet size). Add toppings in any order. Add rice on top of the toppings, wrap up the plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 10 min.
- Slice in half and enjoy! I used a sharpie to mark on the plastic wrap what direction I wanted the onigirazu to be sliced. This is completely optional.