How much rice per onigiri? It depends on how you like to make it

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  September 7, 2021

3 easy recipes anyone can make...

All the tips you'll need to get started in Japanese cooking with our first email the FREE Japanese with ease quick-start recipe guide

We'll only use your email address for our newsletter and respect your privacy

I love creating free content full of tips for my readers, you. I don't accept paid sponsorships, my opinion is my own, but if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something you like through one of my links, I could earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

Onigiri, or Japanese rice balls, are one of the popular foods in various konbini and bento boxes. It is simple to make, affordable, and very tasty.

You can make and customize your own onigiri flavor, that’s why it’s a fun dish to do. Based on your hunger meter, you can even adjust the serving size of your rice balls.

How much rice per onigiri? It depends on how you like to make it

The serving size is up to the cook, whether it’s an onigiri for a snack or in a bento. You can make your onigiri bigger or smaller, whichever your preference is. In most cases, people cook four cups of Japanese rice and make eight portions out of it (half-cup rice for each serving.) Japan Centre recommends 65g of cooked rice per serving.

How to make your own onigiri?

Homemade onigiri is the best when it comes to value and taste. You can use your own fillings, shape your own rice ball, add toppings based on your preference, grill your onigiri to make yaki onigiri, or even make your onigiri sweet.

The preparation is quite straightforward as well, even the inexperienced cooks can do a serving under an hour.

Making the filling can require other recipes. This recipe assumes that you already have your own premade fillings ready.

Here are the following ingredients that you need to make onigiri (eight servings):

Also read: zongzi vs onigiri and how you tell the difference

Once you have your ingredients ready, proceed as follows:

  1. Cook the Japanese rice based on the instructions.
  2. Japanese rice has a shorter grain and sticker than other rice varieties. Hence, there is a specific way to cook it properly. Refer to the instruction from your rice packaging.
  3. Once cooked, let it cool down.
  4. Wet your hands with water and rub some salt in it. The water will prevent the rice from sticking to your hands.
  5. Next, portion your rice into eight equal pieces (if you used four cups). You can change this based on your preference.
  6. Push your hand in the center of the rice to create a small well. This is where you will put your premade fillings. Cover your fillings completely with rice and roll your onigiri to make sure that it has a good shape.
  7. Take your nori sheet and wrap it under your onigiri. This seaweed is to help you pick up and eat your rice balls even without utensils and when you’re on the go.

It’s up to you if you want to sprinkle other seasonings like furikake, salt, or sesame seeds. Enjoy your onigiri!

Don’t feel like making your own onigiri? Find out where to buy onigiri online

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.