Rice Classics

Savory Japanese Onigiri: Rice Balls with a Twist

Delightful and Easy Japanese Rice Balls Perfect for Any Meal

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Savory Japanese Onigiri: Rice Balls with a Twist

Difficulty:BeginnerPrep time: 20 minutesCook time: 20 minutesRest time: 20 minutesTotal time:1 hour Servings:4 servingsCalories:744 kcal Best Season:Suitable throughout the year


Discover the charm of Japanese cuisine with these savory Onigiri rice balls. Perfect for a quick snack, lunchbox treat, or a light meal, these rice balls are filled with your choice of savory fillings and wrapped in a crisp sheet of nori. Simple to prepare and endlessly customizable, Onigiri is a versatile dish that brings a taste of Japan to your kitchen.



  1. Rinse the rice thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Place the rinsed rice and 4 1/2 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and let the rice simmer until all the water is absorbed, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Allow the rice to rest for an additional 15 minutes to steam and become tender. Let the cooked rice cool completely.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 1 cup of water with salt. Use this salted water to moisten your hands before handling the rice. Divide the cooked rice into 8 equal portions. Each portion will be used to make one Onigiri.
  3. Take one portion of rice and split it into two halves. Make a small indentation in one half and place a heaping teaspoon of bonito flakes into the dimple. Cover with the remaining half of the rice and gently press to enclose the filling within the rice ball. Shape the rice into a triangle by pressing gently. Wrap a strip of nori around the Onigiri and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Repeat this process for the remaining portions of rice.


  • – Feel free to experiment with different fillings to suit your taste.
    – For a more traditional touch, use umeboshi (pickled plum) or salted salmon.
    – Keep your hands wet and salted to prevent the rice from sticking while shaping the Onigiri.
Keywords:Japanese cuisine, Onigiri, rice balls, easy snacks, bento box, savory rice

Can I use regular rice instead of Japanese short-grain rice?

Japanese short-grain rice is recommended for its sticky texture, which helps the rice balls hold their shape. Regular rice may not work as well.

How long can Onigiri be stored?

Onigiri can be stored at room temperature for a few hours or refrigerated for up to one day. If refrigerated, let them come to room temperature before eating for the best texture.

Can I freeze Onigiri?

Yes, Onigiri can be frozen. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag. Thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator before eating.

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    06/20/2024 06:28 am GMT

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