Today we will show you how to make vegan onigiri with a filling of "tuna" and avocado. To make vegan tuna, we used a base of mashed chickpeas, mixed with nori flakes and sprinkled with soy sauce and rice vinegar. Close your eyes and let your taste buds take the lead on this one: this mix is mighty fishy (pun intended)!
Onigiri is a timeless Japanese starter recipe consisting of sticky rice ball shaped like a triangle filled with tasty ingredients and wrapped in an algae "nori" sheet. The nori sheets bring in a piquant sea flavour while keeping your hands clean: so practical!
The first onigiri traces back to 2000 years ago. Think of it as the healthy grandaddy of arancini, where instead of nori you have fried breadcrumbs. Just like arancini or sandwiches, onigiri let us be imaginative when choosing the perfect filling.
Traditional onigiri use various fish or crustaceans as filling, which pair well with the nori. Salmon, tuna and prawns are well-known ingredients used in these sticky rice snack.
There are also excellent vegetarian options, like those made with tofu, eggs, avocado or edamame beans. For our recipe, we have used 100% vegan ingredients so that most of you, regardless of your diet or food allergies, will be able to enjoy these rice balls.
Chickpeas pale colour resembles that of canned tuna when mashed. Moreover, chickpeas are an excellent source of protein, which is abundant in real tuna. The nori adds the fish flavour, while the soy sauce and rice vinegar bring in some Japanese flair.
Our steps below are super easy to follow, so let's have some fun preparing these healthy vegan onigiri together!