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Wasabi Mayo Crab Onigirazu

Wasabi Mayo Crab Onigirazu is a fun sandwich made with Japanese sushi rice, crab meat and fresh vegetables topped with a zesty wasabi mayo and folded over with a nori (seaweed) wrapper to be enjoyed as a picnic lunch or in a bento box.
Wasabi Mayo Crab Onigirazu /

Have you ever enjoyed a Japanese onigiri? Onigiri are Japanese sushi rice balls stuffed with items like tuna and mayo, pickled plums, bonito flakes, sesame seeds, etc. and are shaped into a small triangle and then wrapped neatly and tightly with a nori leaf. These are delicious but very VERY small little treats that you can pick up at any market or even at the 7/11's in Japan and around Asia.
Wasabi Mayo Crab Onigirazu /

Some brilliant person created what they call an onigirazu, which is a LARGE sized onigiri that can fit lots of fun fillings and the perfect sized treat for lunches or bento boxes. Brilliant I tell you as these treats are sandwich sized. The onigirazu craze is hitting Japan like a storm.

Come and join the craze with this delicious unique sandwich that you can really stuff with anything your little heart desires. I have seen onigirazu stuffed with yakitori (grilled chicken), tonkatsu (breaded pork cutlets, sushi, fried eggs, vegetables and you name it. Today, I wanted to share with you a fun and easy wasabi mayo crab onigirazu.
Wasabi Mayo Crab Onigirazu /

I love the layers of flavors in the wasabi mayo crab onigarizu starting with crisp outer layer of seaweed (nori/laver) and then the tender and filling short grained Japanese rice, spicy wasabi mayonnaise, sweet gluten-free crab meat, bright yellow crisp diakon radish pickles and many fresh vegetables.

You can use fresh steamed crab picked over for shells. I used a gluten-free brand of imitation crab meat or you could even used tinned crab if you wish. I just happen to like daikon pickles but really any tart and savoury pickle will be beautiful in this wasabi mayo crab onigirazu.
Wasabi Mayo Crab Onigirazu /

Wasabi mayo is just made with 2 ingredients wasabi paste and Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise. If you cannot find wasabi, you can substitute horseradish sauce. You do not need to use the Kewpie brand mayo as any one in your refrigerator will work well.

Nori is dried seaweed and some of you may know it as laver. I like to use the full large sheet so you can fill with more exciting fillings. You can find the nori leaves in any Asian food store or in the Asian food section of your market. If you cannot find nori leaves then of course you could still make a modified onigirazu with a large tortilla, collard greens, etc.
Wasabi Mayo Crab Onigirazu /

When we used to live in Japan, I used to have to make a bento box for my youngest son every day for school and I sure wish I new about these onigirazu back then. Of course, you do not need to garnish your treats with bumblebees, flowers and ladybugs but you sure win some style points with the other kids if you do. Have fun with this Wasabi Mayo Crab Onigirazu recipe.

Japanese short-grained rice works best as this rice is sticky and holds shape in the Wasabi Mayo Crab onigirazu. I also use a plastic wrap to help tightly seal the onigirazu together and it is nice to make them the night before or in the morning before so that the onigirazu hold together well. Also if you wet your knife with a little water or rice vinegar before you slice your onigirazu in half it will prevent your knife from sticking.

Practice makes perfect when assembling your wasabi mayo crab onigarizu so be patient with yourself. It is not really too hard if you remember these 4 basic steps.

1) Place your nori sheet on your table on an angle so it looks like a diamond.
2) Use 1/2 cup cooked rice for the bottom, press down, fill with crab, wasabi mayo and vegetables evenly, among the four onigarizu.
3) Place a final 1/2 cup of top of all of your fillings
4) Pull up the sides of the nori and fold like an envelope and tightly wrap saran wrap to hold onigirazu together.

Now of course some delicious Magic Matcha Bars are just the perfect sweet ending to this delicious picnic lunch.

Wishing everyone a super week! Take care

Wasabi Mayo Crab Onigirazu /



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Healthy World Cuisine (HWC) Magazine is committed to provide a lifestyle traveling culinary experience featuring fresh ingredients, easy recipe preparation and culinary enjoyment. READ MORE...

Wasabi Mayo Crab Onigirazu

By HWC Magazine  , , , , , , ,   

April 21, 2016

A fun Japanese sandwich made with sushi rice, crab meat and fresh vegetables topped with a zesty wasabi mayo.

  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yields: 4 Adults


mayonaise - 1/2 cup

wasabi - 1 teaspoon

plastic wrap - 4 sheet a little larger than the size of the nori dried seaweed sheet

nori sheet (dried seaweed/laver) - 4 (as used to make sushi rolls)

rice - 4 cups cooked and cooled short grained Japanese

crab meat - 12 slices gluten-free imitation or 6 ounces of fresh crab picked over for shells or even tinned crab

diakon pickles - 16 slices of thin sliced or any other pickles of choice

cucumbers - 36 thin slices with peel (or other vegetables of choice like super thin slices of carrot, celery, purple cabbage, etc)

toothpicks - 4 (use as a marker to know which way to cut the onigirazu)


11) Mix together mayonnaise and wasabi. Set aside.

22) Place a sheet of plastic wrap a little bit larger than nori leaf (dried seaweed sheet) on your working surface. Lay your nori leaf (dried seaweed sheet) on an angle with a corner pointing up (in a diamond shape) with the non-shiny side facing up and the shiny side facing down.

33) Place about ½ cup cooked rice into a thin layer shaped into a square in the middle of the nori leaf (dried seaweed). (Wet your fingers with a little rice vinegar to prevent the rice from sticking to your fingers, if you wish)

44) Place 3 slices of imitation crab meat (or real steamed crab meat) in an even layer across the top of the cooked rice, which is lying on top of the dried seaweed sheet. Press down slightly with your fingers. Drizzle 1/8 cup of wasabi mayo on top of crabmeat.

55) Place a thin layer of sliced cucumbers and then thin layer of sliced Japanese daikon pickles (or maybe a fried egg instead for that bright yellow color) on top of the crab layer.

66) Layer on top about ½ cup of cooked Japanese short grain rice and shape flat and into a square. Press down slightly.

77) Take note of which way your ingredients are laid out before you fold up your onigirazu. (The goal is to cut your wasabi mayo crab onigirazu so that you see a pretty cross cut of your sandwich displaying all of the colorful fillings) Gently fold up to opposite ends of nori leaf up and around the sides of the onigirazu so the points or the ends of the nori leaf cross at the top. Then take the other edge of the nori leaf and gently pull up the other two sides and cross until the edges meet up at the top. Place the toothpick in the direction (just gently lay on top as a reference tool) that you will be cutting the onigirazu to show case the ingredient layers. Finally, wrap the wasabi mayo crab onigirazu firmly and tightly with the plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve or at least 30 minutes.

88) Remove the plastic wrap. Wet your sharp knife with water or rice vinegar (to make it easier to cut) and cut your wasabi mayo crab onigirazu in the same direction of your toothpick marker. Place your delicious wasabi mayo crab onigirazu into your bento box with other treats and enjoy on your next picnic or work/school lunches. Enjoy!


10• You can use any additions you want in your onigirazu such as other colorful vegetables, left over chicken instead of crab, or even a fried egg instead of Japanese pickles.

11• Prepare and layer each of the onigirazu sandwiches in an assembly line fashion to speed up the process.

  • These look really delicious, what a great change to the usual sushi but using the same ingredients. Definitely on the list for lunch one weekend soon. And I love your little animals and flowers – too cute!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Lis. A sushi roll fit for a hungry teenager appetite. Of course I might have to skip the cute little animals and flowers as they are boys. LOL

  • I would be thrilled with a lunchbox filled with such deliciousness.
    Have a super day Bam.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Bams Kitchen

      I wish you liked closer Mandy as we could whip you up a bento box in no time flat. Take Care

  • If i ever have children, this will be what their lunch boxes contain. So much yum! 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks Anna. Wishing you a super weekend!

  • What a gorgeous dish! You outdid yourself with the food styling and photography on this one — A+++! And the recipe is darn good too. 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you John, you are making me blush… You are the photography guru! Wishing you a super weekend.

  • I am always mesmerized by bento style lunch boxes. What lucky kids get this for lunch?! : ) Your creation looks so vibrant and lovely, plus I know it’s delicious. I would gobble this up in a heartbeat.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Monica! Actually when we used to live in Yokohama bento box lunch creation was quite competitive. Oh my goodness I had so much to learn…carving fruits into little shapes. Really! It is quite the morning tradition for all the moms. This little bento box is nothing compared to what some of those mom’s can make. BTW do you know Jean from, now here is a little SG mom who really knows her stuff. she is so creative!

  • What a beautiful presentation! I adore those decorative spring picks! This is my kind of sandwich!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks Sandra! They have a whole sections in the Japan Homes stores even in Hong Kong for making cute little bento box lunches. Cute little rice shapers that make rice balls like cartoon characters and panda bears. You name it, they have it.

  • How cute! ANYTHING wrapped in nori has my FULL attention!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you dear! Nori is full of vitamins and minerals and so good for you.

  • I’m one of those weirdos who absolutely can’t tolerate nori. It triggers my gag reflex and I just can’t get it down… not for lack of effort tho- we go out for sushi, like, all the time and I always keep telling myself maybe my “tastes have changed.” Everything else looks so great though- I bet I could make this without the nori and have a great time 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      No worries Sarah you could use collard greens or even a tortilla wrap and make a modified onigirazu if you do not like the taste of nori. My boys love eating the nori sheets like a snack…LOL

  • I tried making onigirazu recently but I think I was too greedy with my filling as I found it really hard to wrap it up properly. Will definitely have to give it a try again! Absolutely loving your take on the onigirazu, it looks so perfect!

    • Bams Kitchen

      I am certain if you try it again you will be successful. You need to have a full sized nori leaf and no more than 1 cup rice total and some toppings per onigirazu. I did many trial runs and if you do not have enough fillings then you have overlays of the nori wrap and if you have too much they won’t close. This recipe is just the right amount, but you need to press down your ingredients along the way too and that helps. Take care

  • This would be perfect with any luchbox, specially mine 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      I would certainly put the little bumble bees, flowers and lady bug decorations in your bento lunch box. The boys at work would be jealous! LOL

  • These sammies are adorable – I’d never heard of onigirazu or onigiri till I read your post – these are almost like giant sushi to me – and love sushi rice instead of bread any day!

    • Bams Kitchen

      They are like giant sushi rolls almost, except you do not need to add the flavoring to the rice like you do with standard sushi rolls. Great gluten-free option instead of bread in a sammie.

  • Wow, wow, wow! I’ve never heard of onigiri till now but we are going out for sushi tonight after reading this! How delicious, Bobbi, and you’ve made them so beautifully!
    Ever since I started reading your blog over 3 years ago, I still learn something new each and every time I visit 🙂
    Sharing all over!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you so much Robyn! Around this time of the year I get very sentimental and miss living in Yokohama so you will see lots of Japanese recipes. Actually, I think we have known each other for almost 4 years, right. The time goes by so fast.

  • Eha

    At the beginning of our ANZAC Long Weekend you have put the biggest smile on my face – love all the ingredients and have most at home but have never made quite as ‘yumbunctious’ greedy gutzer version of this – looks wonderful! Shall copy and DO have a good weekend, even if rainy 😀 !!

    • Bams Kitchen

      I love that term “yumbunctious’ greedy gutzer” but don’t if I am pronouncing it correctly… LOL It is rainy here alright with Amber thunderstorms. I had to batten the hatches this morning. I hope it blows over so that we can get out and about and enjoy a picnic this weekend. Wishing you a safe and happy ANZAC holiday weekend!

  • Looks so good–so colorful and healthy!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Nancy! Wishing you a super weekend!

  • This looks soooo awesome, I really want to have a go at making sushi style food myself – I might have to try this soon!

  • Oh My Bobbi!! This is so so fabulous!! What a delicious dish.. Never had this of course, forget about making them. But now I wanna go and grab some sushi asap. Sharing everywhere!

  • This is one beautiful dish Bobbi! I just love the little flowers in the tomatoes!

  • Oh my goodness, I just love these! Not only are they totally cute, but I love the flavors going on in here! I’ve never tried to make anything like this at home but I’m pinning this for future reference!

  • What an awesome recipe….I can see my kids loving these in their school lunches.

  • I love this! Looks so delicious!

  • I love onigirazu, so many ways to fill them and makes for a satisfying meal!

  • The simplicity of the flavors is beautiful in this recipe – plus it looks amazing!! Love the way you’ve styled it. I’ve had Japanese friends mention onigiri a lot. I think it’s time I try making these onigirazu instead 😀

  • This beautiful, healthy and creative.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Velva. I hope you are doing well.

  • These look absolutely beautiful and appetizing my husband would certainly love these. I’ve put these on my list “of things to try”. You truly eat by your eyes first and this has really made me want one.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks so much Tina! However, you can’t just have one. Trust me I tried that and failed miserably. You need to have at least a 3-4 piled high stack of pancakes.. Wishing you a super week!

  • What a fun sandwich! This would blow all the kids away at the lunch table:) I love that you wrapped it all up in nori and that the vegetables are pickled! SO many flavors and textures!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks so much Jennifer. You know it is the end of the year that the kids are totally burned out on the usual lunches so time to mix it up a little bit.

  • These are so beautiful! And love your presentation with the adorable toothpicks! My munchkin would be all over these!!

  • Ian new to this and have never tasted even once. Would definitely love to have. Get tempted whenever i see them.

  • My goodness this looks good! Would you come make me a lunchbox? 🙂

  • Absolutely delightful! I would have this for my packed lunch everyday!

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