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Onigiri are a great, easy and healthy snack for athletes and especially good for endurance sports. They are popular among many ultra athletes and provide easily portable and digestible energy for long days out on the track.

Onigiri are very common as a lunch or snack in Asian countries. The main ingredient is rice, so there is lots of easily digestible carbs. Onigiri are eaten cold which means the rice has a greater resistant starch content. Warming and then cooling has this effect on rice’s nutrition profile. Resistant starch helps you to maintain your fluid balance during exercise as it gives your body a sort of an extra reserve of water and electrolytes. It is also one of the rare prebiotic fibres that is tolerable for people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome or have a sensitive stomach.

Plain onigiri are just rice and seaweed, but to make them even more interesting we make onigiri with fillings. By changing the choice of filling you can play with different flavours and add protein, fibre and fats to meet your needs. The seaweed wrapping is a package of many nutrients; Seaweed contains protein, carbohydrates, fibre, minerals and vitamins. It also contains lots of long-chain n-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which are highly under-consumed among vegan athletes and an important factor in the diet.

Here we provide recipes for two different variations of onigiri; one with tofu and avocado filling and one fried version with sweet potato purée inside. Both recipes are vegan, gluten-free and contain low-FODMAP ingredients.

Endurance boosting onigiri

For the base

  • 4 dl sushi or porridge rice

  • 6 dl water

  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar

  • 2 tbsp sugar

  • 1 tsp salt

  • Nori seaweed for handle


Onigiri with avocado filling

  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ tsp wasabi

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise

  • 1 block of tofu

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp oil for frying the tofu


Onigiri with sweet potato filling

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce + extra soy sauce for frying

  • Oil for frying if needed


Start by cooking the rice according to the instructions. Then when ready, add vinegar, sugar and salt. Set the rice aside to cool while preparing the onigiri fillings. Wrap your tofu in a paper towel and place under a weight to dry. In a bowl mix together avocado, soya sauce, wasabi paste, lemon juice and vegan mayonnaise. Slice the tofu and fry in oil and soya sauce until golden and crispy. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes and boil in a pot until soft. Smash the sweet potatoes into a puré and flavour with soya sauce.

To assemble the onigiri take plastic foil on the palm of your hand and take 2 tablespoons of rice and form to a cup. Place ½ tablespoon of avocado spread and a slice of tofu on the rice cup and add more rice until the spread is hidden. Form into a triangle using your hands with the help of the plastic foil. Unwrap from the plastic and add a piece of seaweed for a handle!

For the sweet potato version, place ½ tablespoon of the sweet potato puré on the rice cup, add more rice and form into a triangle. Then place the onigiri in a pan and fry until the rice has a golden colour. When the onigiri are almost done add soya sauce for more flavour. Add a seaweed handle if needed.



Average nutritional value for avocado version

per 100 g

Energy 261 kJ / 62 kcal

Fats 5 g

Of which saturated 0 g

Carbohydrates 4 g

Of which sugars 4 g

Dietary fibre 1 g

Protein 1 g


Average nutritional value for sweet potato version

per 100 g

Energy 160 kJ / 38 kcal

Fats 1 g

Of which saturated 0 g

Carbohydrates 7 g

Of which sugars 5 g

Dietary fibre 0 g

Protein 0 g


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