Hip Wok Unleash Your Inner Chef with Our Wok Recipes

🍙 Japanese Onigiri Recipe: How to Make Delicious Rice Balls 🍙

Learn how to make Japanese onigiri, delicious rice balls filled with your preferred ingredients. Follow our step-by-step instructions and enjoy this tasty dish!

Japanese Onigiri

You will need:

  • sushi rice2 cups of sushi rice
  • water2.5 cups of water
  • salt1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • onigiri fillings1/2 cup of your preferred filling (tuna, salmon, pickled plum, etc.)
  • nori seaweed sheetsNori seaweed sheets


  1. First, rinse the sushi rice under cold water. Do this until the water runs clear, which means that the excess starch has been washed away. This is a crucial step for achieving the perfect sticky rice texture.
  2. Next, cook the rice with water. You can use a rice cooker for convenience, or cook it on the stove. If you're using the stove, bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
  3. After cooking, let the rice cool down a bit. It should be warm but not hot when you're forming the onigiri. This is to prevent burns and also to ensure the rice is at its stickiest.
  4. Before you start shaping, wet your hands to prevent the rice from sticking to them. Sprinkle some salt on your hands. This will season the rice and also act as a natural preservative.
  5. Take a handful of rice and create a dent in the middle. This is where you'll place your filling. You can use a variety of fillings like canned tuna, cooked salmon, or pickled plum.
  6. Add your preferred filling into the dent and enclose it with more rice. Make sure the filling is fully covered.
  7. Now, shape the rice. You can make a triangle, round, or cylinder shape. It's all up to your preference. Just make sure to press firmly so the rice holds together.
  8. Finally, wrap the rice ball with a nori seaweed sheet. This will add flavor and also make the onigiri easier to hold.


You can enjoy onigiri as is, or you can grill it for a toasty flavor. Just brush some soy sauce on the onigiri and grill each side for a couple of minutes.

Delve into the heart of Japanese cuisine with our simple yet satisfying Onigiri recipe. This traditional Japanese rice ball, often enjoyed as a quick snack or a staple in bento boxes, is a versatile dish that can be customized with a variety of fillings. Whether you're a fan of the classic tuna, salmon, or pickled plum, or you're looking to experiment with more adventurous fillings, Onigiri is a delightful culinary journey waiting to be explored.

Onigiri is more than just a meal; it's a testament to the Japanese culture's ingenuity and respect for simplicity. It's a dish that takes the humble rice grain and transforms it into a portable, flavorful, and nutritious meal. It's a testament to the Japanese philosophy of mottainai, a concept that encourages avoiding waste and appreciating the value of resources.

While making Onigiri might seem daunting at first, it's actually quite straightforward. If you've ever wondered Is making sushi at home a challenging task?, you'll find that the process of shaping rice for Onigiri is a great introduction to handling sushi rice. The key is to keep your hands wet when handling the rice to prevent sticking and to gently form the rice into shape without compacting it too much.

For those interested in exploring more about sushi, our articles on how to make a tantalizing sushi bake and the origin and preparation of Nigiri sushi offer a wealth of information.

Once you've mastered the basics of Onigiri, why not try your hand at other types of sushi? Our comprehensive guide on how to make Maki sushi at home is a great place to start. And if you're feeling adventurous, our FAQ on how to make a sushi volcano roll provides a step-by-step guide to creating this spectacular dish.

Whether you're a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, Onigiri is a dish that invites creativity and personalization. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and let's embark on a delicious culinary adventure together.