Rice balls (Onigiri, おにぎり)

Rice balls are called both Onigiri and Omusubi in Japanese, meaning the same one. They are generally made by holding rice lightly, putting something in, and wrapping with roasted seaweed (Nori).
Give it a try with your favorite filling.

Level: Easy Yield: –
Prep time:0 minutes Cook time:15 minutes


  • Steamed short-grain Japanese rice
  • Sea salt
  • Roasted seaweed (Nori)

    For fillings (Choose your favorite fillings):
  • Canned tuna, drained and mixed with Japanese mayonnaise and soy sauce
  • Dried bonito flakes, mixed with soy sauce
  • Salmon, sprinkled salt and grilled


  • A plastic wrap


  1. Prepare plastic wrap: Cut plastic wrap about 12 inches square and spread.
  2. Put some rice and filling: Sprinkle a pinch of salt on the wrap.
    Put some steamed rice on the wrap and put filling in the middle.
  3. Shape the rice ball: Gather the four corners of wrap, settle the rice lightly, and put it on the one hand.

    The other hand makes a corner of the triangle and covers the rice from above. Press it to make a triangle gently. Apply force only to the outside without to the center. Shape 3-4 times while turning. (Don’t worry that the form of your rice ball isn’t a beautiful triangle. The form doesn’t relate to taste.)
  4. Wrap with seaweed: Choose your favorite form of the seaweed from the following and shape. Then wrap the rice ball with it.
    1. Triangle: Cut a sheet of large roasted seaweed diagonally to make 2 triangles.
    2. Small rectangle: Cut a sheet of large roasted seaweed into small rectangles.
    3. Large rectangle: Cut a sheet of large roasted seaweed into large rectangles.
  5. Optional:If you make 2 kinds of rice ball or more, put a little filling on the top to differentiate fillings of inside


  • About “Rice balls, Onigiri or Omusubi”:
    Everyone in Japan loves them so much, and they are one of the classic dishes for Bento boxes as well. Rice balls are so simple but and even cooled one is tasty. Therefore, people take them outside, like when going on a picnic. They are not only made at home but also sold everywhere in Japan, like at convenience stores and grocery stores.

    Fillings that are popular in Japan are pickled plum (Umeboshi), dried bonito flakes(Okaka), tuna mixed with mayonnaise(Tsuna-mayo), and salted cod roe(Tarako). But it does not matter what you put in. Some people like the simplest rice ball with salt only. My mom sometimes put a Japanese fried chicken in the middle. You can not only put something in the middle of rice but also mix it with rice.

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