Lunchbox Idea: Assorted Onigiri

August 26, 2018

It’s safe to say that Onigiri has, more often than not, a permanent seat in Japanese bento boxes. These delightful little sushi-rice balls have the capacity to not only make your lunch seem very cutesy-AZN, but also very convenient. It’s perfect if you’re the kind of person who has meetings every hour, and the only utensils available are your two bare hands.

Not to be confused with sushi, which glamorizes the use of pristine (and expensive) seafood, Onigiri takes pride in using leftovers and pantry ingredients such as Beef Yakiniku, preserved mustard leaves, and canned corned tuna.

Oh, and please, don’t use a spoon and fork while eating these. Onigiri is meant to be handheld, and with these assorted Onigiri recipes, it might as well do as handheld lunches. So you can toss those fast-food wraps good-bye, and choose this homemade alternative instead. It’s cheaper to prepare and healthier, too.

Well, kinda.

Assorted Onigiri

Total Time: 40 minutes / Yield: 2-4 servings

Ingredients for the Veggie Onigiri

  • 1 tbsp Mustard Leaves Preserve
  • 1 cup cooked Japanese rice

Ingredients for the Maguro Onigiri

  • 2 tbsp corned tuna
  • 1 cup cooked Japanese rice

Ingredients for the Japanese Onigiri

  • 1-2 tbsp Japanese rice seasoning
  • 1 cup cooked Japanese rice

Ingredients for the Beef Yakiniku Onigiri

  • 1/2 tsp black Sesame seeds
  • Yakiniku beef (beef sukiyaki marinated in yakiniku sauce)
  • 2 sheets nori, cut into 1 inch wide strips (for wrapping)


  1. Mix together rice and seasoning.
  2. Divide into 2 and press in Onigiri mold (you can also use your hands to shape them if you don’t have an Onigiri mold).
  3. Wrap halfway with nori.
  4. Repeat this process for all kinds of Onigiri.
Mikka Wee Mikka Wee

Mikka Wee is former editor of and was part of the team until she got whisked away to Singapore in 2016 where she worked in advertising and eventually found herself back in the food industry. She currently does marketing work for two popular Singaporean dessert brands and is a weekly columnist for The Philippine Daily Inquirer’s lifestyle brand, She has always been crazy about travel, food, and her dog Rocket.

7 comments in this post SHOW

7 responses to “Lunchbox Idea: Assorted Onigiri”

  1. I love making these! They might look cute and delicious but these things are hella heavy. I couldn’t eat more than 2 and not feel full. Another thing if you’re making them by hand you should dip your hands in vinegared/salted water so the rice doesn’t stick to your hands.

    by the way, where do you get black sesame seeds?

  2. Love these! Yummy, convenient, and cute! 🙂

  3. D Camacho says:

    I can’t wait to bring baon like this to school!!

  4. alohakona says:

    Hi! These look great 🙂 Where can one buy Japanese rice seasoning in Makati? Thanks!

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