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Japanese Onigiri Recipe

Japanese Onigiri Recipe

Onigiri are Japanese rice balls that are stuffed with various fillings and are wrapped in dried seaweed leaves. They are very suitable as a fresh, healthy and wholesome snack on the go.

Onigiri not only makes rice easy to eat but also contains a delicious filling that brings a unique taste to it. The shapes can often be seen decorated with beautiful motifs, designs and elements.


History & Cultural Significance

The history of onigiri dates back at least 1,400 years when they originally started as a picnic dish. Today, however, these small Japanese rice balls are to the Japanese what the hot dog is to a New Yorker or the sandwich to the British.

For the Japanese, this handy triangle symbolizes a moment of pause in the stressful (albeit very orderly) Japanese everyday life. The snack is available in every imaginable variation in the convenience shops in Japan.


Japanese Onigiri Recipe

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour


Basic Ingredients

  • Sushi Rice (Japanese Short Grain Rice) - 300g
  • Rice Vinegar - 2 tbsp
  • Cane Sugar - 1 teaspoon
  • Salt - ½ teaspoon
  • Sesame Seeds (Dark) - 1 tbsp
  • Nori Seaweed Sheets - 2

Salmon Filling

  • Salmon - 100g
  • Spring onion - 1 Rod
  • Lime - 1
  • Mayonnaise - 3 tbsp
  • Teriyaki Sauce - 1 tbsp


  1. Put the rice in a fine sieve and rinse under running water until the water running through is clear. Drain the rice well, put it in a saucepan, fill it with water (approx. 320 ml) and bring to a boil. As soon as the water boils, reduce the heat to the lowest level and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, stir together the vinegar, sugar and salt and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Remove the finished rice from the stove, clamp 2 layers of kitchen paper between the pot and the lid and let it stand for 10-15 minutes. 
  3. Then pour the rice into a shallow wooden bowl and gradually work in the vinegar mixture and sesame with a wooden spatula. Cut the rice alternately to the right and left as if with a plow. Cover the rice with a damp cloth and let it cool.
  4. For the salmon filling, cut the salmon into small cubes. Wash the spring onion, cut off the ends and cut into very fine rings. Cut a lime in half and squeeze. Mix the lime juice, mayonnaise and teriyaki sauce together. Fold in the salmon and spring onion.
  5. Roast the nori sheet on one side in a non-stick pan over medium heat until you smell the aroma. Remove, let cool and cut into 2.5-3 cm wide strips.
  6. Divide the prepared rice into two equal portions. Moisten your hands with water, shape a small portion of rice into a triangle and make a hollow space in the middle. Put the salmon filling in the hollow and seal with rice. Lightly squeeze the onigiri again. 
  7. Wrap the underside with a strip of nori. Do this until the rice and fillings are used up. Your onigiri is ready to be served.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 252Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 645mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 8g

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