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Dungeness Crab Onigirazu (Japanese Rice Sandwich)

A Dungeness recipe that’s filling and perfect for whatever veggies you’ve got on hand.

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Dungeness crab is a local specialty here on the West Coast and we’ve got them fresh out of Monterey Bay! While we personally love eating Dungeness steamed on its own or with a drizzle of citrus, we also like to incorporate it in other recipes to make it more filling. Here’s a recipe that’s healthy, simple, and customizable.

Onigirazu is a rice ball (also known as onigiri or musubi in Japanese). Onigiri is often shaped into a ball or as a triangle and sold with a variety of toppings or fillings. Onigirazu, however, is filled and resembles more of a sandwich. Once onigirazu are assembled and wrapped, they’re easy to pack for kid’s lunches, picnics, or your backyard patio :). 

In this version, we use avocado and cucumber as veggies. But, this would also be excellent with lettuce, cabbage, mango, or mint in addition or as substitutes. Really, whatever veggies or fruit, grilled or raw, can work! We can’t wait to see what combination you come up with. If you give this recipe a go, be sure to share your finished onigirazu with us on social media or by email!


  • ½ Dungeness crab (steamed)
  • Mayo (we use Kewpie mayo, which has vinegar and other seasoning involved. If you use regular mayo, add a dash of vinegar) 
  • Sriracha (optional, if you like things a tad spicy)
  • Rice 
  • A note on rice: we’re making sushi rice here so once your rice is cooked, add a dash of salt, sugar, and rice vinegar-mix.
  • Cucumber, sliced widely and thinly 
  • Avocado, sliced 
  • Nori sheets (one per onigirazu)
  • Black pepper (to taste)


First, make your rice in either a pot or rice cooker. The best option here is sushi rice or medium grain white rice. These will bind together the best. Brown rice would taste good too, but will probably be a messier endeavor. Proceed with caution!

While your rice cooks, let’s make the Dungeness crab salad. Mix your shredded crab with mayo, sriracha, and black pepper to taste. Think tuna salad consistency. Set aside. 

Slice whatever veggies you’re going to use here. I’ve used cucumber and avocado, but any veggies you’ve got will do. Mango, cabbage, lettuce, bell peppers, carrots, and pickled onions are all great options. So are any herbs like mint or basil. 

Once you’ve got everything ready, it’s time to assemble! See the photos for a step-by-step on how to fold your onigirazu. For each rice patty, we used about ⅓ cup of rice. PRO TIP: Dip your hands in water before touching the rice–it makes it not stick–and to seal your nori to itself. 

When you’re done assembling your onigirazu, feel free to keep it whole and eat from there. Or, grab the sharpest knife you’ve got and slice it down the middle. Obviously diagonally, it’s the only way to go. We recommend making these with any of our seafood, especially ahi tuna or salmon. Mix and match your onigirazu by making several and sharing with friends :).

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