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Authentic Recipe of Onigiri. Appetizing Japanese Traditional Rice Balls.

Onigiri is a simple and healthy rice ball. Onigiri balls are wrapped in nori seaweed and stuffed with tasty meat and vegetable fillings.

Things to know about Onigiri Recipe

Japanese Traditional Rice Balls – Onigiri is a hearty dish known as Omusubi, which has been a favorite food for Japanese families during picnic time since the 11th century. The dish was mentioned by Lady Murasaki, the famous author of the book “The Tale of Genji.”

However, the origin of this traditional Japanese dish was way back in the Nara period, before the chopstick’s introduction. It is typically wrapped in Nori seaweed that started during the 16th century.

There are different ways to enjoy diverse stuffing, like salmon, grilled or pickled mushrooms, the meat of your choice, and vegetables. It is a commonly prepared meal for outside activities like a picnic. Also, it is widely available in convenience stores throughout Japan.

Appetizing Japanese Traditional Rice Balls. Authentic Recipe of Onigiri.

Local Recipe Name with Local Characters: おにぎり
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— General Atributes of This Recipe:

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


Servings 6 Pieces
Calories / Serving 210 kcal


  • cup Rice Uncooked
  • 2 sheets Nori Seaweed
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  • 1 pc Plum Umeboshi in Japanese pickled and seeded

Bonito Flakes Filling

  • 2 tbsp Dry Tuna Flake – Katsuobushi – Okaka – Dry Bonito Flake
  • ½ tsp Soy Sauce

Tuna Filling

  • 95 grams (3.35 oz) Canned Tuna
  • tbsp Japanese Mayonnaise
  • ½ tbsp Soy Sauce

Salted Salmon

  • 1 pc Salmon
  • 1 tsp Salt



  • Prepare and measure all ingredients properly.


  • Prepare the rice to cook in a rice cooker or instant pot. You may also use donabe if available.
  • In a large bowl, let the rice soak for about 30 minutes.
  • Put the rice into a sieve and drain it for 15 minutes.
  • Cook it using your rice cooker according to the instruction.
  • Remove the lid and let the steam come out of the rice for another 10 minutes.
  • Transfer it to a plate or baking sheet with parchment paper at the bottom. Let it cool down.

Salted Salmon Filling

  • Rub some salt on the fish flesh and bake it for 10 to 20 minutes at 425ºF or 218ºC. Make sure that it is dry and flaky.
  • Flake the cooked salmon and set it aside for later.

Pickled Plum Filling

  • Put the pickled plum on a plastic wrap, fold it in half and press it to deseed. Take out the seed and get the flesh.

Dried Bonito Filling

  • In a small bowl, put the bonito flakes and add the soy sauce and mix well.

Tuna Filling

  • Drain the canned tuna and transferred it into a small bowl.
  • Add the Japanese mayonnaise and soy sauce and mix well.


  • Cut a sheet of nori into three pieces.
  • Wet both hands with clean water to prevent the rice from sticking to your hands.
  • Rub a little salt on your hands.
  • Scoop 1/3 cup of rice, put it on top of plastic wrap, and make a well at the center.
  • Place one kind of filling at the center of the rice and mold to cover the filling.
  • Press the rice and form a triangle shape using your index, middle, and thumb finger.
  • Make sure not to press it too tight.
  • Wrap the rice with a nori sheet and put a small portion of the filling on top of it to distinguish each one.

— Specific Atributes of This Recipe:

Healthy Diet Recipe Healthy Recipes


Calories: 210kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 7gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 560mgPotassium: 92mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 57IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Japanese Traditional Rice Balls, Onigiri Recipe, おにぎり
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Cooking tip for making Onigiri

You may choose to purchase a nori sheet precut to the size of onigiri.

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