Day 7: Frodo-Approved Onigiri

Vegan MoFo Theme: Make something inspired by a book or film

Happy Labor Day in the US! I couldn’t help myself with the timing on this post. This past weekend we made a trip to Koreatown Galleria and I scored an onigiri (rice ball) shaping tool! I have made onigiri for years, and though tasty, it usually turns out oddly shaped and never perfect like the ones from Japanese quick marts that I remember so fondly. The thing about onigiri is that although it looks quite small, the rice is so compacted that it fills you up immediately. Its fulfilling qualities, plus the seaweed wrapper, have always reminded me of the Lembas bread from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Lembas bread is a traditional Elven food that keeps Sam and Frodo going, giving them energy throughout their travels to Mordor. Though onigiri is made from rice, I have always found them similar in that they both bode well for long journeys. Just prepare, wrap, throw it in your backback, and you’re ready to go. I love that you can put whatever you’d like inside your onigiri too. I’ve used adzuki, corn, edamame, carrots, and more. A note on how filling these are: I made three to share between my husband and I, and we could each only finish one. Here is my quick recipe from today:


  • 1 1/2 cups white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup steamed edamame, deshelled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 sheets nori (seaweed)


  • Wash the rice in a strainer, then add to 2 cups fresh water into rice cooker.
  • Once rice is finished, take off heat (I like to dump it onto a plate to cool faster).
  • Drizzle the rice wine vinegar over the rice and fold in. I like to add this because it gives it a sushi-like flavor.
  • Add the sesame seeds, salt. Mix and let sit until rice is cool and ingredients are evenly distributed.
  • If you don’t have a fancy rice shaper like me, don’t worry, it is OK. Cut your seaweed into long strips, about 2.5 inches wide and the entire sheet long.
  • Wet hands, then grab about half a handful of rice. Mash the rice between your two hands, forming into a flat oval shape.
  • I typically use my index finger and thumb to shape the rice into a triangle. You can do this at the end though. Add about six edamame beans to the very middle of the rice and press in.
  • Take another very small half handful of rice and cover the edamame beans. At this point you can begin to shape the object into a 3-D triangle shape, if you’d like. Lay one side of the onigiri on the top part of the seaweed.
  • Fold the bottom layer of seaweed under the onigiri, folding down the seaweed on every edge to cover all sides.
  • Wrap in saran wrap, throw into lunch sack, and SAVE MIDDLE EARTH.



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