Onigiri Rice Balls

Onigiri Rice Balls

  • Serves 1-2
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Learn to make one of Japanese cuisine's favourite snack foods with this onigiri recipe. Onigiri are balls of rice, usually wrapped with nori seaweed and containing a meat or vegetable filling. Much like sandwiches in the West, onigiri are readily available in convenience stores across Japan and are great for a quick and easy snack. Aesthetically pleasing and really tasty, they are a fun and filling alternative to sandwiches for lunch. Shop our delicious range of white rice perfect for making onigiri. 


per onigiri rice ball:
65g cooked japanese rice
1/4 sheet nori seaweed
pinch of salt
shiso perilla leaf (optional)
sesame seeds (optional)

possible fillings:
cooked chicken
cooked salmon
tuna mayo
pickled plums
tsukemono japanese pickles

How To Prepare

  1. Begin by cooking the Japanese rice according to your favourite method.

  2. With a small amount of salt sprinkled on your hands, mould the rice into small balls or triangles approximately 8cm wide.

  3. Create a small well in the centre of the rice and put in your choice of ingredients. Then mould the rice with your hands around the well to cover your filling completely.

  4. Using a sheet of nori seaweed, wrap up your ball of rice.

  5. Sprinkle some sesame seeds or cut up shiso leaves to put on the rice for a little extra flavour (optional). Enjoy for a snack or during lunch.

Tips and Information

- If you are not sure about making onigiri with your hands or handling hot rice you can use a piece of cling film to mould the rice. Alternatively, take a look at japancentre.com's great collection of easy-to-use rice ball moulds.
- Ingredients are enough to make one onigiri. To make more, multiply the ingredient amounts by the number of onigiri you wish to make.
- To learn more about Japanese rice, visit our how to page.
- To learn more about Furikake Rice Seasoning, see our how to page and be inspired if you're looking for ways to flavour your onigiri.