Delicious Chicken Katsu Onigirazu made with healthy baked chicken katsu, tonkatsu sauce, mustard, steamed rice, and thinly sliced cabbage.
Onigirazu for school lunch has been mutual love between my children and myself. As a mom, I love that I can easily stuff leftovers inside the square shape onigiri sandwich. For the children, they said they love that all the ingredients (rice, main dish, vegetables) are in one rice ball/sandwich which is portable and fits in their small hands.
I asked them to give me their top 5 onigirazu that I make, and they answered. This Chicken Katsu Onigirazu (チキンカツおにぎらず) is their #1 top favorite onigirazu.
Since they love tonkatsu and chicken katsu, I’m not too surprised that this is their favorite. From their answers, I realized that my kids prefer simple filling rather than my “creative” onigirazu.
What is Onigirazu?
Onigirazu is a rice ball (onigiri or omusubi in Japanese) that is NOT squeezed tightly into the traditional shape, like round or triangle.
You can put more fillings inside, as the “rice ball” shape is square and you can spread the ingredients just like how you lay them out for a sandwich. You wrap the fillings from the four corners of nori. So it is kind of like “wrapped rice ball”.
If you want to learn more about, you can read this post.
How To Make Baked Chicken Katsu
For Chicken Katsu Onigirazu, I almost always use my Baked Chicken Katsu, which is a quite popular recipe on Just One Cookbook.
If you’re new, you can check out how I make my chicken katsu “baked”, by pre-toasting panko with just one tablespoon of olive oil.
Juicy and tender crispy baked chicken breast wrapped in a panko crust, serve with salad and tomatoes, tastes just like fried chicken.
Other Onigirazu Recipes
Chicken Katsu Onigirazu
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Cut the cabbage leaves into julienned slices.
- Place a plastic wrap on a working surface and put a sheet of nori seaweed on top (shiny side facing down), with a corner pointing up.
- Evenly spread the steamed rice in a thin layer and form into a square shape in the center of nori sheet. Sprinkle a little bit of salt. For Japanese rice ball (onigiri) that are enjoyed at room temperature, we add salt to rice keeps the food fresh longer.
- Place the shredded cabbage evenly on top of rice and then the chicken katsu on top.
- Spread the mustard and tonkatsu sauce.
- Flip over chicken katsu so the sauce is also on the cabbage.
- Place steamed rice on top. Try to keep the square shape as you spread the rice evenly in a thin layer. Bring left and right corners of nori sheet towards the center. Fold gently but tightly to wrap around the layers at the center.
- Then bring bottom and top corners towards the center. Continue to fold gently but tightly around the layers. Make sure the rice is tucked in nicely.
- If you like the onigirazu to showcase the filling after cutting in half, mark with a piece of shredded cabbage perpendicular to the filling. Wrap with plastic wrap tightly and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Cut the onigirazu with a sharp knife (following the direction of the “cabbage” mark). Run your knife in cold water before cutting so that the cross-section will be clean.
- If you plan to make it ahead of time, wrap the onigirazu with a thick kitchen towel and keep it in the refrigerator overnight. The towel will prevent the rice from getting hard and dry from cold air (but it's impossible to keep it moist/fluffy). I strongly recommend making onigirazu on the same day you enjoy it.