bento lunch

Chicken Katsu Onigirazu チキンカツおにぎらず

Chicken Katsu Onigirazu | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.comOnigirazu for school lunch has been a 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.
Chicken Katsu Onigirazu | Easy Japanese Recipes at
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 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 kinda like “wrapped rice ball”.
If you want to learn more about, you can read this post.
Chicken Katsu Onigirazu | Easy Japanese Recipes at

Chicken Katsu Onigirazu with 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.

  • Baked Chicken Katsu (See recipe)
  • 1-2 cabbage leaves
  • 1 nori sheet
  • 1 cup steamed rice
  • a pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 1-2 Tbsp. tonkatsu sauce
    Chicken Katsu Onigirazu Ingredients
  1. Cut the cabbage leaves into julienned slices.
    Chicken Katsu Onigirazu 1
  2. 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.
    Chicken Katsu Onigirazu 2
  3. 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.
    Chicken Katsu Onigirazu 3
  4. Place the shredded cabbage evenly on top of rice and then the chicken katsu on top.
    Chicken Katsu Onigirazu 4
  5. Spread the mustard and tonkatsu sauce.
    Chicken Katsu Onigirazu 5
  6. Flip over chicken katsu so the sauce is also on the cabbage.
    Chicken Katsu Onigirazu 6
  7. 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.
    Chicken Katsu Onigirazu 7
  8. 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.
    Chicken Katsu Onigirazu 8
  9. 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.
    Chicken Katsu Onigirazu 9
  10. 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 ahead of time, wrap the onigirazu with kitchen towel and keep in the refrigerator overnight. The towel will prevent rice from getting harder from cold air.
    Chicken Katsu Onigirazu 10

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