Lunchopolis #81

My first attempt at onigirazu (fillings: sushi rice, lettuce, quick-pickled cabbage, carrot matchsticks, some five spice tofu I bought from H-Mart, and mung bean omelet), kiwi, and the Minimalist Baker's coconut snowball cookies.

As usual I'm late to this party; onigirazu became a major fad in 2016. Somehow I haven't gotten around to making them before now. I will make onigirazu (sometimes called "sushi sandwiches") again, though I think I would prefer cucumber matchsticks to the quick-pickled cabbage. I also think I might be able to get the cucumber to balance better--making these things is a bit of an architectural feat. But I really enjoyed this! I've wanted to make them for a long time and for some reason I haven't taken the plunge.

Onigirazu is a riff on both onigiri (Japanese rice balls) and sushi which the Boston Globe says originated in a 1980s manga called "Cooking Papa," so really all of us lunch bloggers were late to the party anyway. You can put almost any filling in them. I want to try chickpea "tuna" salad, vegan cold cuts, Gardein fishless filets, and tofu eggless salad sometime! (Not all at once.) You supposedly shouldn't call them "sushi sandwiches" unless they use actual sushi rice (rice that has been seasoned as if for making sushi), and I did use actual seasoned sushi rice here but somehow I still prefer the oxymoronic onigirazu (which means "unmolded by the hands" in Japanese).

Also, if you're avoiding gluten, but miss sandwiches, this might work for you!

This was a totally gluten-free lunch, as it happens. The coconut snowball cookies are really just coconut held together with some coconut oil, maple syrup, and aquafaba that has some salt and vanilla for flavor and cornstarch for structure. I followed the Minimalist Baker's suggestion and dipped them in chocolate. I loved them! They are almost, but not quite, like macaroons.


  1. I have seen a few places advertising 'sushi sandwiches' around here, but never any vegan options. But making them at home sounds like a great plan. I love the idea of them, and love making sushi rice!

    1. They're not that hard if you're reasonable about the filling! But I think my skills will definitely improve over time. There is room, for sure.


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