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Vegan Onigiri w/ Ponzu-Marinated Avocado + Shichimi Togarashi

Onigiri w/ Ponzu-Marinated Avocado + Shichimi Togarashi | Well and Full | #plantbased #recipe

I know everyone’s been talking about this, but I just have to get it out of my system – SNOW. In APRIL. When I went outside to walk my dog, the ice crunched under my feet. And there I was a few days ago, ready to start planting my herb garden! Gee whiz. Luckily for my herbs, though, the temperatures are supposed to rise by next week, and I hope to have them safely in the ground by mid-month.

Ever since I started this blog, I’ve wanted to have my own garden. Unfortunately, living in an apartment, I didn’t have any land to plant in. And my attempts at having a windowsill lined with terra cotta pots full of herbs just failed miserably. But now that I’m moving back with my family, I have as much land as I could possibly hope for to garden in! I’m SO excited; it’s all I can think about! There’s something so cathartic and calming when you’re working with the earth with your bare hands. Not to mention reaping the efforts of all your hard work – crispy lettuce plucked straight from the garden, dewy flowers to garnish salads and smoothie bowls, succulent herbs bursting with earthy flavor. It’s gonna be amazing, I tell you. And I’ll be sure to post lots of pictures of my garden’s progress here! :)

Onigiri w/ Ponzu-Marinated Avocado + Shichimi Togarashi | Well and Full | #plantbased #recipeOnigiri w/ Ponzu-Marinated Avocado + Shichimi Togarashi | Well and Full | #plantbased #recipeOnigiri w/ Ponzu-Marinated Avocado + Shichimi Togarashi | Well and Full | #plantbased #recipeOnigiri w/ Ponzu-Marinated Avocado + Shichimi Togarashi | Well and Full | #plantbased #recipe

Today’s recipe is something I’ve had in my back pocket for a while, but never got around to posting. If you haven’t heard already, I’m a devoted student of Japanese cuisine, and I’m always looking for new techniques to try and foods to make in my own kitchen. I first heard of onigiri through Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks, one of my favorite blogs. She’s traveled extensively to Japan, and has a whole section devoted to Japanese food in one of her cookbooks, Near and Far (which I highly recommend). Onigiri are little stuffed rice balls that are partially wrapped in nori sheets. Traditionally, they’re often stuffed with umeboshi plums, which can be rather hard to find if you don’t have an Asian specialty market nearby. I decided to go the marinated-avocado route for the sake of convenience, and was pleasantly surprised to find that they made a deliciously creamy and tangy filling for the onigiri.

These little rice balls look a lot harder to make than they actually are – all you need is a measuring cup to use as a mold to create the beautiful circular shape. The rice sticks together surprisingly well, and it’s a breeze to coat the onigiri in the spicy shichimi togarashi.

Onigiri w/ Ponzu-Marinated Avocado + Shichimi Togarashi | Well and Full | #plantbased #recipe

Onigiri w/ Ponzu-Marinated Avocado + Shichimi Togarashi | Well and Full | #plantbased #recipe

Onigiri w/ Ponzu-Marinated Avocado + Shichimi Togarashi

Onigiri are stuffed rice balls, a ubiquitous snack in Japan. These vegan onigiri are made with ponzu-marinated avocados and coated in spicy shichimi togarashi.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 Onigiri



  • 2 Cups Japanese Short-Grain Rice
  • 1/2 Cup Sprouts any kind will do
  • 1 Tsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Tsp Black Sesame Seeds
  • 1 Tsp Shoyu
  • A few drops of Ponzu

Ponzu-Marinated Avocado

  • 1/2 Avocado diced
  • 1 Tsp Ponzu see note
  • Pinch of Black Sesame Seeds


  • Shichimi Togarashi
  • Black + White Sesame Seeds
  • Nori sheets cut into strips


Ponzu-Marinated Avocado

  • Start by marinating the avocado - dice avocado, and mix in a bowl with 1 tsp ponzu. Let sit while you prep the onigiri.


  • In a bowl, add rice, sprouts, rice vinegar, sesame seeds, and shoyu. Mix well.
  • Line a measuring cup with plastic wrap - I used 1/3 cup. Stuff the measuring cup partially with the rice and sprouts mix. Then, add in a small spoonful of the avocado filling in the middle. Top it off with more rice/sprouts mix and press down into the measuring cup.
  • Take onigiri out of the measuring cup and set aside. Repeat with the remaining rice and avocado filling.
  • Once you've made all the onigiri, spread some shichimi togarashi and sesame seeds onto a plate. If you don't have any shichimi on hand, more sesame seeds with do. Roll the onigiri on its side through the spice, then set aside. Repeat with all the remaining onigiri.
  • Cut the sheets of nori into strips. Wrap the strips halfway around the onigiri (see photos for reference), and cut off any excess nori.
  • Serve immediately - nori can get chewy if left out too long.
  • Enjoy!


If you don't have any Ponzu on hand, use a teaspoon of lime juice to marinate the avocados instead.
In addition, if you don't have any shichimi togarashi, you can mix sesame seeds with a pinch of red pepper flakes to create the spicy coating on the onigiri. But shichimi togarashi is highly recommended - you can purchase it here or at your local Asian market.

Onigiri w/ Ponzu-Marinated Avocado + Shichimi Togarashi | Well and Full | #plantbased #recipe

Song of the Day:

The Here and The Now –  Sam & Ruby


If you make this recipe and post it on Instagram, be sure to tag me @wellandfull and #wellandfull so I can see! I love seeing your takes on my recipes :)


  • Reply
    Fernando @ Eating With Your Hands
    April 5, 2016 at 9:55 am

    No matter how you make it, rice balls are the cutest. I did my own temari balls a couple of months ago – so yummy and nice to snack on.

    I was just about to say that this is kind of the perfect springtime snack, but I guess with snow in April (!) the timing is a little off haha.

    • Reply
      April 5, 2016 at 10:16 am

      That’s okay, it should be spring here in Connecticut soon ;) Thanks Fernando! :D

  • Reply
    valentina | sweet kabocha
    April 5, 2016 at 10:57 am

    I love nigiri, but your version seems awesome!!!
    Omg, snow in April? I’m so happy I live in the Sf Bay Area :D

    • Reply
      April 5, 2016 at 12:30 pm

      I’m so jealous! I would love to live in California, it’s such a beautiful state! :)

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    April 5, 2016 at 11:03 am

    I’ve been seeing so many sushi and onigiri recipes lately…it must be a sign I need to make some!!
    Ugh, and a garden would be my dream….but I can’t keep anything alive!

    • Reply
      April 5, 2016 at 12:30 pm

      You gotta make some, girl! They’re so good! ;)

  • Reply
    April 5, 2016 at 11:30 am

    That looks so delicious! How exciting to start your garden, but ick to the snow. Glad it is going to warm up for you soon.

    • Reply
      April 5, 2016 at 12:29 pm

      Thanks Laura! :D

  • Reply
    Natalie | Feasting on Fruit
    April 5, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    Onigiri has been on my list to try for forever now! I love everything about them, I mean come on handheld sticky rice…heck yeah! I really love that you added in sprouts and sesame seeds too, makes them look more interesting and exotic and healthier too! It’s like just the best parts of sushi– avocado and rice <3

    • Reply
      April 5, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      Thanks Natalie!! You’ve got to try them, they’re so easy and delicious! :D

  • Reply
    Maikki | Maikin mokomin
    April 5, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    These looks so good! I have made fried onigiris (yaki onigiri) that were filled with avocado and sweet potato and they were delicious! I love the idea of marinating avocados. That elevates the recipe to next level :)

    • Reply
      April 6, 2016 at 1:57 pm

      Oooh yaki onigiri sounds so good!! I’ll have to try that next time! :D

  • Reply
    Ana @ The Awesome Green
    April 6, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Snow in April sounds awful – we have the opposite here, 10 ºC over the normal temperature and a strange summer feeling that it’s just not ok. I love these onigiri, look so simple and yet sophisticated, and Japan seems to be this year’s main trend! Totally envy you for your garden to be, can’t wait to see the photos! :)

    • Reply
      April 6, 2016 at 1:57 pm

      I’d rather have a faux summer than snow ;) And thanks girl!! :D

  • Reply
    April 6, 2016 at 10:06 am

    these onigiri are awesome!
    I sub’d TJ’s frozen cauliflower
    rice for the sushi rice and it
    was delish!
    thnx for the recipe!

    • Reply
      April 6, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it!! :D :D

  • Reply
    Maya | Spice + Sprout
    April 6, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    I totally feel youuu! We had a snowstorm today and the only thing that could make me happy about it was being super cozy indoors and just admiring it from the window. Good luck with the garden, I am excited to see its progress! <3

    • Reply
      April 7, 2016 at 10:08 am

      Thanks Maya!! :D

  • Reply
    Aimee / Wallflower Kitchen
    April 8, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Little works of art! I love Japanese food but I never make it at home for some reason. I need to start !

    • Reply
      April 8, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      You should, girl! These are so fun to make! :D

  • Reply
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