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Sushi Hamantaschen (Onigri)

Sushi Hamantaschen (Onigri)


Anyone who reads my blog knows that I’m just not that big a baker. So when Purim comes around, I’m not about to make my own hamantaschen. The bakery stuff is good enough for me. I still like to get into the Purim spirit, so coming up with something that has three corners (reminiscent of Haman’s three-cornered hat) is a must.

Sushi has become a staple (read: obsession) in many Jewish homes. You can find sushi bars at most kosher restaurants, groceries, and even pizza shops. We Jews just can’t seem to get enough. So what better way to celebrate Purim, and enjoy everyone’s favorite food than with these adorable sushi hamantaschen.

It turns out that triangular shaped sushi is not my own creation. It’s a popular street food in Japan, named Onigiri, meaning “rice ball”. Onigiri can be made by hand, or using a rice mold. Either way you do it, these adorable hamantaschen are sure to be the talk of your Purim seudah table.

Onigiri can be stuffed with all different sorts of fillings including vegetables, fish, or meat. Fill them with whatever suits your fancy, or take some inspiration from your favorite sushi spot.

Onigiri Filling Ideas:

  • scrambled eggs
  • pickled vegetables
  • pickles
  • guacamole
  • portobello mushrooms
  • umeboshi (pickled plums, Eden makes a kosher version)
  • marinated tofu
  • tuna
  • lox
  • mock crab
  • flaked salmon
  • caviar
  • hot dogs
  • meatballs
  • chicken nuggets
  • gingery chicken
  • diced cold cuts

Sushi Hamantaschen (Onigiri) Ingredients

  • 3 cups warm cooked sushi rice
  • nori, cut into 1″-1 1/2″ strips
  • fillings of choice
  • toasted sesame seeds


Using a rice mold:

Rinse your rice mold with water and fill halfway with sushi rice. With wet hands, make a little indent in the center. Add filling (if you’re using a filling that has a lot of liquid, like pickled vegetables, squeeze out the liquid or the rice will get too wet and fall apart). Cover the filling with more sushi rice, but don't stuff it. Cover the rice mold with the lid and press down. If you can't press down all the way, you have used too much rice. If you press down too easily (there should be gentle pressure needed), you have put too little rice. Remove the lid, invert the mold, and press down on the “button” to release.

Measure the width around the sides of your onigiri and cut nori strips a little bit bigger than its width (the nori shrinks a little once it forms to the rice). Wrap the nori around the sides of your onigiri. If needed, you can seal the nori where the edges meet by dabbing it with a little bit of water.

To make hamantaschen out of the onigiri: Using a piece of paper that is slightly bigger than your onigiri, cut out a triangle shape in the center. Place the paper over your onigir, centering the triangle over your rice and sprinkle sesame seeds over the cut-out.

Alternatively, you can roll the sides of you onigiri in sesame seeds and cut your nori into triangles for the center.

NOTE: Rice molds are available at asian markets as well as on Amazon. If you purchase the pink one pictured, be sure to remove the pink “buttons” that are snapped into the lid, otherwise they will make an indentation in your onigiri.

Hand-made Onigiri:

Wet your hands to keep the sushi rice from sticking to them. Spread a palmful (or less, depending on how big you want the onigiri to be) of warm sushi rice into one hand. Place the filling in the center. Fold up the rice around the filling and pack the rice tightly with both hands into a triangular shape. Continue as above.

Onigiri can also be made by hand using plastic wrap to help mold the rice into shape. Place a piece of saran-wrap over a bowl and put a palmful of sushi rice in it. Place the filling in the center. Gather up the saran-wrap around the rice and twist at the top to seal the rice inside. Gently mold the rice into a triangular shape and remove the plastic wrap.

Image credit:
Image credit:

Filling Recipes:

Pickled Vegetables

  • shredded carrots
  • sliced cucumbers
  • sliced radishes
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

Bring the water, vinegar, sugar and salt to a boil. Remove from heat and leave to cool. Add vegetables to a jar and pour pickling brine over them. They should be completely covered. Marinate in the refrigerator for a minimum of 8 hours. Keeps for 2 weeks.

Wasabi Tuna

  • 1 can tuna
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Gold’s wasabi sauce
  • 1 tbsp mayo

Drain tuna and remove from can. Flake lightly with a fork. Add soy sauce, wasabi sauce and mayo.

Asian Guacamole

  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated or pickled ginger, diced
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • salt, to taste

Lightly mash a few cubes of avocado, leaving the rest in cubes. Mix with scallions, lime, vinegar, ginger, sriracha and salt.


Soy sauce, Gold’s wasabi sauce, pickled ginger, spicy mayo.

Spicy Mayo

  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Mix well until incorporated.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Chanie Apfelbaum runs the popular kosher cooking blog BusyinBrooklyn. When she’s not busy caring for her little ones, Chanie blogs about her cooking, crafting and coping adventures. She combines her love of writing, photography and design to bring you original dishes and crafts that your whole family will enjoy. With step-by-step photography, clear instructions and friendly guidance, the BusyinBrooklyn blog makes everything look easy!
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Sam Leon November 5, 2014

This is perfect for a sushi addict like me! Reply

Anonymous March 12, 2014

Onigiri Having grown up in Japan I can say that these Onigiris look so authentic I thought I came to the wrong website !
Is flaked dry Bonito (Katsuobushi) Kosher/permissible? I am unsure.
If you make a mixture with flaked dry Bonito and Soy sauce just enough to dampen the flakes, and use about a small teaspoon full as a filling it is very tasty. To prevent the rice from sticking to your palms when making these, dip your hands into warm salty water before you handle the rice. Or just use Onigiri makers. To prevent the Onigiri from falling apart, avoid oily fillings.
They were originally invented as lunch you can carry, possibly by the rice field workers centuries ago. They could wrap them in a carrier/leaf and strap them to their bodies. Sushi on the other-hand is more of a restaurant-type food.
Onigiri is the sort of food your mom or grand mother will give you, or take on a picnic. They don't go off as easily as Sushi and are very practical. Reply

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