These vegan Onigiri are fun to make and eat! Onigiri is a traditional Japanese food that consists of nori seaweed wrapped around sushi rice and a filling. They usually come with a salty or sour filling such as fish, seaweed, or umeboshi, a pickled Japanese plum. Rather than those more traditional fillings, this recipe for vegan Onigiri uses spicy black beans that add the perfect kick. They're great for picnics or lunch on the go. While having a mold makes these easier to put together, you can do it by hand. While it's not necessary, adding little faces on these vegan Onigiri makes them so much cuter!

Spicy Black Bean Onigiri [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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  • 1 cup sushi rice dry
  • 1 small can of black beans (dry weight 4.5 ounces)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • Hot pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Start by cooking the sushi rice using the instructions on the pack. Once the rice is done cooking put it in a bowl and let it cool before using. While the rice is cooking start by prepping the filling.
  2. Bring a pan to medium-low heat and sauté the chopped onion until it turns translucent, not add the beans, and with the back of the spatula stir while breaking the beans. Add the spices, salt, and pepper, and cook for a few more minutes before adding the peanut butter and giving it a good mix. Now let it cool.
  3. To form the rice balls you can use an onigiri mold or simply do it by hand. If you're using the onigiri mold you could rub some (toasted sesame) oil on the inside, so it's easy to remove the rice ball.
  4. Add some rice and create a little well, to this add a bit of the filling, top with rice, and squeeze down to close. There should not be any filling coming out. To make it by hand simply take some rice (wet or oil your hand a bit so the rice won't stick) make a well and add the filling. Mold it into your preferred shape to close.


To make colorful onigiri, cook your sushi rice in water that has been dyed bright blue using purple cabbage — no food coloring needed. Then, if you would like, you can turn the rice from purple to pink using just lemon juice.


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