Onigiri Recipe (Japanese Rice Balls with Delicious Fillings)

We are making various kinds of Onigiri. Enjoy onigiri with the various fillings, ume okaka, tuna mayo, hiroshimana, short ribs, negi miso, soy sauce and salmon.

Onigiri (Rice Balls with Delicious Fillings)

Course Main Dish, Rice
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 7 pieces
Cook Time 30 minutes Time for cooking rice and cooling rice is not included in cook time.
Translator Get Francis Mug
  • 1 Shiso Leaf
  • Parsley Leaves
  • Kinome Leaves young leaves of sansho pepper
  • Toasted White Sesame Seeds
* 1 tablespoon (tbsp) = 15 ml, 1 teaspoon (tsp) = 5 ml
* The ingredients contain Amazon affiliate links.


  1. Let's prepare the rice for Onigiri. Cook the rice with a little less water.
  2. Place the fresh steamed rice into another container and distribute it evenly. Cool the rice and allow the excess moisture to evaporate.
  3. Add the salt to the bowl of water and microwave it for about 30 seconds. Stir and dissolve the salt completely, making a 10% salt water.
  4. Let's prepare the fillings. Chop the spring onion leaves into fine pieces.
  5. This pickled vegetable is called Hiroshimana, one of the famous products in Hiroshima Prefecture. Chop the stem into fine pieces.
  6. With kitchen shears, cut the toasted nori seaweed into one short strip, two triangles and one long strip.
  7. Season the short rib slices with the soy sauce, sugar and grated garlic. Rub the seasonings into the beef thoroughly.
  8. Ume Okaka is a mixture of pickled plum and bonito flakes. Remove the stone of the umeboshi.
  9. Add the okaka, bonito flakes, and combine well. You can also drip a tiny bit of soy sauce to taste.
  10. Combine the canned tuna, mayonnaise and wasabi, making the tuna mayo.
  11. Add the negi, spring onion leaves to the miso. Dilute the miso a little with sake or water. Combine well, making a smooth negi miso paste.
  12. Let's sauté the short ribs. Place the short rib slices into a pan.
  13. Brown both sides until the aroma grows stronger and the excess juices evaporate almost completely.
  14. Next, place the lightly-salted salmon fillet into the pan and cover with a lid.
  15. Sauté until golden brown and flip it over. Cover again and brown the other side thoroughly.
  16. Cool the salmon on a plate and crumble the fillet into small pieces. Remember not to leave any bones inside.
  17. Let's make the salmon onigiri. Wet your hands with the salt water to prevent the rice from sticking.
  18. Place the rice in the palm of your hand and make a small hole in the center.
  19. Put the crumbled salmon into the hole.
  20. Gather the rice toward the center, covering the salmon filling.
  21. Form your hand into a V-shape and rotate the onigiri, shaping it into a triangle. Don't squeeze the onigiri too much to maintain the light, fluffy texture.
  22. Wrap the salmon onigiri with the triangular nori seaweed. Face the glossy side of the nori to the outside.
  23. Make a shallow hole in the top corner of the onigiri and fill with the salmon.
  24. Repeat the process to make the short rib onigiri. Place part of the short ribs onto the rice and shape the onigiri into a triangle.
  25. Wrap the onigiri with the triangular nori.
  26. Place the remaining short ribs into the top corner.
  27. Let's make a hiroshimana onigiri. Combine the rice, stem of pickled hiroshimana, chirimenjako, dried baby sardines, and toasted white sesame seeds.
  28. Toss to coat well with chopsticks.
  29. Wet your hands with the salt water and shape the rice into a cylinder.
  30. Wrap the onigiri with the pickled hiroshimana leaf.
  31. For the ume okaka onigiri, combine the rice and the ume okaka, pickled plum and bonito flakes in a bowl.
  32. Wet your hands with the salt water and form the rice into a cylinder. Wrap the onigiri with the strip of nori.
  33. For the tuna mayonnaise onigiri, place the tuna mayo onto the rice and shape the onigiri into a flat round shape.
  34. Wrap the onigiri with the long strip of nori. Make a hole in the top and place the extra tuna mayo inside.
  35. Next, let's make a negi miso onigiri. Wet your hands with the salt water and firmly shape the rice into a triangle. With a spatula, cover both sides of the onigiri with the negi miso paste.
  36. And now we’ll make a delicious soy sauce onigiri! Wet your hands with the soy sauce and firmly shape the rice into a flat round shape.
  37. Now we can grill them and make yaki onigiri! Coat a heated pan with the sesame oil. Place the negi miso and soy sauce onigiri into the pan.
  38. When lightly browned, flip them over. Coat the soy sauce onigiri with the extra soy sauce and sauté both sides until golden brown. The negi miso will burn easily so be careful not to overcook it.
  39. That’s it for cooking.
  40. Serve the onigiri on a plate and garnish with the shiso leaf, parsley leaves, kinome leaves and white sesame seeds.

Recipe Notes

Japanese convenience stores carry many kinds of onigiri so you should check it out when you visit Japan.

This post was last modified on 06/29/2020

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