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Vegan Parmesan Crusted Peanut Butter Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls)

Recipe for Vegan Parmesan Crusted Peanut Butter Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls). They are easy to make, super delicious and look cute! Great for kids, too! 

Peanut Butter Filled Onigiri |
Onigiri are these cute little Japanese rice balls that Usagi Tsukino aka Sailor Moon was always having in her lunch box. I’ve been a huuuuge fan of the TV show when I was little (I’ve always watched it while doing my homework) and actually rewatched every episode a few years ago. While Usagi only had eyes for her beloved Tuxedo Kamen-sama I was more intrigued by the onigiris.

I always loved the idea of eating little rice balls for lunch, so I made my own version – Vegan Parmesan Crusted Peanut Butter Onigiri. You can use sticky rice or sushi rice for them. I’ve filled them with Peanut Butter and dipped the sides in some homemade Cashew Parmesan.

Peanut Butter Filled Onigiri |

They’re actually super easy to make and you can fill them with pretty much anything you want – there are so many variations possible. If you want to make them without the Cashew Parmesan, dipping them into black & white sesame seeds would look really pretty too! They’re the perfect snack (or healthy & light main meal), great to take to school or work and kid-friendly.

Peanut Butter Filled Onigiri |

Vegan Parmesan Crusted Peanut Butter Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls)

Elephantastic Vegan
Recipe for Vegan Parmesan Crusted Peanut Butter Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls). They are easy to make, super delicious and look cute! Great for kids because they are perfect for school lunch boxes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Fusion, Japanese, Vegan
Servings 6 onigiri
Calories 139 kcal


  • 1 cup white sticky rice (or sushi rice)
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon brown rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon homemade cashew parmesan
  • 6 strips nori (seaweed sheet)


  • Wash the rice until the water stays relatively clear and cook the rice along with the salt (with the lid on) on low heat until the rice absorbed all the water. Pour the brown rice vinegar onto the warm rice and fold it in. Let it cool off completely.
  • Cut the nori sheet in 6 strips, so they could go around the bottom of the onigiri.
  • Slightly wet your hands (this way it's easier to work with the rice and it's not that sticky) and form 6 balls.
  • Press one ball flat in your hand, spread the peanut butter on one side of the circle (leave out the edges) and fold it together. Now form the onigiri in shape.
  • Put a nori strip around the bottom. Pour the cashew parmesan on a shallow dish and dip the sides of the onigiri in the vegan parmesan.
  • Enjoy! (If you don't serve them immediately, I'd suggest storing them in the fridge)


Calories: 139kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 3gFat: 2gSodium: 212mgPotassium: 52mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 50IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 0.6mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @elephantasticvegan or tag #elephantasticvegan!

Peanut Butter Filled Onigiri | Elephantasticvegan.comInstagramShould you decide to give these Vegan Parmesan Crusted Peanut Butter Onigiri a try I’d love to hear how it turned out for you! Leave a comment or post a picture on instagram, use the hashtag #elephantasticvegan and tag me via @elephantasticvegan to make sure I’ll see it ^.^ I love to see all your lovely creations! Thanks! <3

Vegan Parmesan Crusted Peanut Butter Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls)
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Recipe Rating

Kyra | Vie De La Vegan

Friday 13th of May 2016

I've seriously just been having a cook-a-thon from your blog Bianca - today I made these onigiri for lunch (so so good! I'd never had onigiri before but this was really delicious!), and I've been baking the za'atar bread sticks, pizza crackers and cheesy poppy seed crackers to take on my road trip tomorrow. Your party food section is also great for travel food :D


Friday 13th of May 2016

Wow, that's really a cook-a-thon you're doing here, Kyra! You have no idea how happy your comment makes me <3 I'm so glad you liked the onigiri, they are one of my favorites for light lunches in the summer :) I hope you'll like the za'atar breadsticks too! You're totally right, party / finger food is great for traveling too. They're the perfect snackables. Just make sure you let the breadsticks and crackers cool off completely before packing them in an air-tight container, otherwise they'll get a bit chewy :) Happy road trip and travel safe :)


Thursday 17th of March 2016

When do you use the brown rice vinegar?


Friday 18th of March 2016

Ah! Totally forgot it, sorry! I've added the brown rice vinegar to the warm rice after cooking and folded it in. Thanks for pointing it out, Ashley, I've added it to the instructions now. :)


Friday 29th of January 2016

i wish there was one without peanut butter since im allergic.


Saturday 30th of January 2016

that's no problem at all, Abbie! You can fill them with anything you want.. I made some with spring onions and little tofu cubes (seasoned with curry powder) the other day and they were yummy as well. Or how about carrot shreds? or kimchi? Or miso? You can also make sweet onigiri with mango chutney, plums, dates or pineapple.

Audrey | Unconventional Baker

Monday 11th of January 2016

Ok, so I had to come see what these onigiri were all about. This looks so fun Bianca, and you made them look so beautiful. I know you put peanut butter in the title, but somehow I was still surprised when I realized they were filled. I'll have to add them to my to try list! <3


Wednesday 13th of January 2016

Thank you so much, Audrey! The peanut butter stuffed Onigiris are definitely great to begin with! My boyfriend and I made some with tofu + spring onions as well but it was way more difficult to actually keep the filling in the onigiris :D Definitely give the onigiris a try - I think they are easier to make then maki (I'm the worst in rolling sushi).

skating tomato

Sunday 10th of January 2016

And this is why I love being vegan! What a creative little recipe Bianca! I love it!


Wednesday 13th of January 2016

Yes, vegan cooking is so creative and inspiring :) Thanks!