Crab Onigiri

This spicy creamy crab onigiri is small in size but packed with big flavors. The filling requires only 5 ingredients, plus salt and pepper! It’s light, bright, zesty, creamy, spicy – I mean I could probably go on and on!

To save time, I used my trusty onigiri mold but you can also shape it by hand as well. Follow my instructions below for hand-shaped onigiri!

How to make Crab Onigiri

Step 1: Prepare the rice

Place the cooked rice in a large mixing bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Mix in furikake seasoning until well combined. Set aside.

Step 2: Make the crab filling

In a small mixing bowl, shred the imitation crab sticks. Then add Kewpie mayo, sambal, lemon zest, scallions, salt, and ground black pepper. Mix well until combined.

Step 3: Assemble the onigiri

Now let’s shape the onigiri! If using a mold, follow the instructions according to the package. If shaping by hand, wet both hands and using two fingers, dip it in the bowl with salt. Rub the salt into the palm of your hands until evenly coated. Grab about 1/4 cup rice and flatten it out on the palm of your hand. Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of the crab-filling mixture in the center. Top with some more rice and press it down so the rice on top sticks to the rice on the bottom. Using your palms, apply pressure and shape the onigiri into a triangle. To create a triangle shape, make the palm of one hand flat and make a 90-degree angle with the other hand. Shape the rice ball using this formation while rotating. Be sure to apply pressure when shaping! This may take some practice and a few tries.

Step 4: Garnish & serve

Wrap the onigiri with a nori sheet and enjoy!

*Optional* Garnish the top of the onigiri with Kewpie mayo, scallions, and a piece of imitation crab.

Looking for more onigiri filling ideas?

Check out my other onigiri recipes!

5 from 2 votes

Crab Onigiri

Servings 3 onigiri
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked rice short-grain or medium-grain rice
  • 3 tbsp furikake seasoning Japanese rice seasoning
  • roasted seaweed sheets non-salted

Spicy Creamy Crab Filling

  • 6 imitation crab sticks
  • 2-3 tbsp Japanese Kewpie mayo substitute with regular mayo
  • 1 1/2 tsp sambal (chili paste) substitute with Sriracha
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 scallion chopped
  • 1/8 tsp salt adjust to taste
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Place the cooked rice in a large mixing bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Mix in furikake seasoning until well combined. Set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, shred the imitation crab sticks. Then add Kewpie mayo, sambal, lemon zest, scallions, salt, and ground black pepper. Mix well until combined.
  • Now let's shape the onigiri! If using a mold, follow the instructions according to the package.
    If shaping by hand, wet both hands and using two fingers, dip it in the bowl with salt. Rub the salt into the palm of your hands until evenly coated. Grab about 1/4 cup rice and flatten it out on the palm of your hand. Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of the crab-filling mixture in the center. Top with some more rice and press it down so the rice on top sticks to the rice on the bottom. Using your palms, apply pressure and shape the onigiri into a triangle.
    To create a triangle shape, make the palm of one hand flat and make a 90-degree angle with the other hand. Shape the rice ball using this formation while rotating. Be sure to apply pressure when shaping! This may take some practice and a few tries.
  • Wrap the onigiri with a nori sheet and enjoy!
  • *Optional* Garnish the top of the onigiri with Kewpie mayo, scallions, and a piece of imitation crab.
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Japanese, Korean

Join the Conversation

  1. 5 stars
    These are amazing and exactly what I was hoping for. I used short grain rice and gochujang for the chili paste (just what I had on hand). The recipe has the perfect blend of sweet, spicy, and umami as well as a good ratio of rice to nori to filling. The furikake with sesame seeds also makes for a fun texture with the rice. Highly recommend!

    1. 5 stars
      Hi Sammie! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe! It’s so simple but so delicious at the same time. Also love the use of gochujang – I think I’ll have to try it next time 🙂

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