Cronigiri: Learn More About The Viral Sushi-Croissant Mashup

After crookies and cronuts, it’s time for the ‘cronigiri’! The new hybrid pastry that brings together savoury Japanese rice onigiri and French croissants were reportedly first seen at Le Levain Bakery in Singapore and were filled with combinations of Sicilian pistachio cream, scallion sour cream, Lao Gan Ma chilli crisp and decorated on one side with nori, in late 2023. 

In December 2019 chef, “dough whisperer” and YouTuber Aston Adiwijaya shared a recipe which was strikingly similar to the cronigiri; it was a tuna onigiri croissant with a crusted triangular shape along with black and white sesame seeds, a piece of nori wrapped on the lower side and was filled with some tuna roasted sesame mayo. 

Earlier this year in Sydney, John Lee, the owner of Cafe W, asked his employees to make an “onioissant,” which has three curved points and the flaky texture of French pastry. It took them over eight weeks to get right since no one was sure about the precise number of layers that this confection needed for the optimal thickness of the dough. In May, they came up with the onioissant which has a crisp, buttery crust and an ornamental piece of seaweed wrapped around the bottom and it takes 11 hours to bake each batch. 

The Cafe W sells about 1,600 of the $6.50 pastries each week and these pastries are filled with savoury fillings like chive bacon cream cheese or mayonnaise with roe. “Koreans eat something similar to onigiri called samgak kimbap, which also inspired what I do. But the onigiri is more famous,” said Jin Park, owner of Sydney’s Tenacious Bakehouse. 

“It has a super-crispy outside, and it’s light and soft inside. We use sourdough pastry, so we can enjoy the croissant onigiri as a lunch or something savoury,” says Park. “I try to listen to my customers and make their dreams. One customer tried our onigiri croissant on the road while driving. After his first taste turned around and came back to buy more.”