Japanese Devil’s Onigiri Recipe, Or Akuma No Onigiri!

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Last Updated on March 25, 2024 by Share My Kitchen

Looking for a quick lunch that is easy to make, yet addictively delicious? Perhaps some Akuma but no onigiri around? Well, you’re in the right place! This Devil’s Onigiri is a recreation of a popular rice ball sold at the convenience store chain “Lawson”. It’s so simple, yet so good! Let’s get started!

What Is “Devil’s Onigiri?”

What is “Devil’s Onigiri?” You might be curious. Devil’s Onigiri is a special Japanese rice ball launched by the convenience store chain Lawson.

The English name derives its source from the direct translation of “Akuma no Onigiri” (悪魔のおにぎり).

It was released for the first time in 2018, and quickly became a huge hit, with over 200,000 copies sold within four weeks.

The rice ball is full of flavor and believed to be “devilishly addictive, devilishly delicious and devilishly high in calories.”

These days, the term “Devil” can be used in different dishes in these contexts.

Variations Of Akuma With No Onigiri (Devil’s Onigiri)

Since then, there have been several variations of “Devil’s Onigiri”:

  • Devil’s Onigiri: rice cooked in dashi and then mixed with tempura batter and nori.
  • White Devil’s Onigiri: rice cooked in dashi and then mixed with spring onions, sea lettuce, and sesame seeds.
  • Black Devil’s Onigiri: seasoned with okonomiyaki sauce and mixed with tempura batter, spring onions and sea lettuce.
  • Gyoza Onigiri: one whole gyoza wrapped with rice and egg.

The Devil’s Onigiri are simple, but so bursting with flavor! That’s what makes them so irresistible.

Who is On The Package Of Devil’s Onigiri?

You may be curious about the mysterious character on the packaging for Devil’s Onigiri, named Akuma De Tanuki Kun.

He is a Japanese “tanuki” raccoon dog that has bat wings and devil’s horns. Although it might seem random, Japanese characters almost always have some meaning.

Did you know that there are two Japanese dishes with the word “tanuki” in their names?

  • Tanuki Udon: udon noodles with bits of tempura batter
  • Tanuki Soba: noodles topped with tempura batter

These names are believed to have been inspired by the brown color of a tempura batter that was fried and reminded people of the fur of a Tanuki.

Since the devil’s onigiri has pieces of tempura batter that are related with tanuki udon and tanuki soba, a tanuki raccoon dog was chosen to be the mascot!


This recipe can be prepared at home, which is the best thing about it! The following ingredients are included in this recipe:

  • Short Grain White Rice
  • Tenkasu (tempura bits)
  • Aonori (powdered nori seaweed)
  • Tsuyu (dashi sauce)


Onigiri are typically made with short grain white rice, but you can also use “sushi rice” if you’re unsure. Because it is sticky, short grain rice holds its form well when shaped.

Regrettably, it’s possible for the rice to fall apart if it is made from other types of rice. However, you can sometimes mix different grains of rice into white short grain rice.

Japanese people prefer rice that’s been cooked in rice cookers since it almost always has perfect texture. But don’t worry if you don’t own a rice cooker!


Don’t throw out the crumbs if you make tempura.

Tenkasu (天かす) is what you call those tiny bits of tempura batter floating on top of the oil after they fall off.

They can be used in other dishes, such as Devil’s Onigiri, okonomiyaki, or and noodle dishes such as udon. These add texture and flavor to your food, so it would be too wasteful to just throw them out.


Aonori is a finely powdered version of the nori that you would usually find wrapped around an onigiri. It’s very simple to make if you don’t already have it.

You can add one sheet of nori to a food processor, and then blend it. This will make nori powder that is great for flavoring rice.


Tsuyu is a concentrated sauce that contains the following ingredients:

  • Dashi stock
  • Soy sauce
  • Mirin
  • Sugar

Tsuyu adds umami to Japanese cuisine so make sure you have it!

How to Make Lawson Konbini Style “Devil’s Onigiri” with Aonori and Tenkasu


  • 600g Cooked Rice (3 cups) (Cook 300g / 1¾ US cups / 2 rice cups of uncooked rice)
  • 40g / ½ cup Tenkasu (tempura crumbs)
  • 2 tbsp Aonori (powdered nori seaweed)
  • 3 tbsp Tsuyu Sauce


  • 1 bowl of ice-cold water
  • 1 tbsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS: Devil’s Onigiri 

  1. Mix 1/2 cup (40g) tenkasu, 2 tbsp aonori, and 3 tablespoons tsuyu in a large bowl.
  2. After all liquid has been absorbed, add 600g (3 cups), of cooked rice to your bowl.
  3. Mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the rice.
  4. You can divide the rice into 4 to 6 portions, depending on the size of the onigiri.
  5. Make sure to prepare a bowl of ice-cold water and a small bowl containing 1 tbsp salt.
  6. After washing your hands, dip them in the bowl of icy water for 15-20 seconds. This will prevent the rice from sticking to your hands.  
  7. Then salt your hands by adding 1-2 pinches to each palm. This will not only give the rice ball a unique flavor, but it also serves as a preservative while you store it in your lunchbox.
  8. Start by taking a handful of rice mixture and pressing it together. Then press the edges to form a triangle shape. You should get a firm triangle shape by press and turn, press and turn, press and turn.   
  9. Do not handle the rice too long, the faster, the better. Wrap the rice in nori once you are satisfied with its shape. But this onigiri doesn’t have nori on it because aoniri is already in the rice.     
  10. Place your hands in the icy water again and then repeat. This recipe yields 4-6 rice balls, depending on the size.
  11. You can either eat it immediately or place it in your lunchbox with an ice pack. These are best eaten on the same day.  
  12. Enjoy!

Tips When You Make Akuma With No Onigiri

  • To add more flavor to your rice by cooking it in dashi stock
  • You don’t have to handle the rice with your hands. You can also put the rice into a plastic wrap, then shape it like that. But don’t forget to salt the outside of the rice ball before or after shaping it.  
  • Wrap them in plastic wrap to keep them fresh for tomorrow’s lunch. Then wrap them once more with kitchen paper or a paper towel to prevent them from drying out overnight in the fridge.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Category: Rice
Method: Mixing


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