Where to buy onigiri (and can I buy it online)?

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  August 27, 2021

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Onigiri is a Japanese rice ball that is like comfort food in Japanese culture. It is made from steamed rice that is then formed into balls or other shapes and usually wrapped in nori, which is dried seaweed.

You can get onigiri at just about any grocery store or convenience store in Japan, but it is much harder to find in other countries such as the United States.

This article discusses what onigiri is and where to buy it.

Where to buy onigiri (and can I buy it online)?

What is onigiri?

Onigiri is also known as Omusubi, although it’s not exactly the same thing.

It is Japanese comfort food that is made of steamed white rice. Onigiri comes in many different shapes. Some onigiri is served as triangles or cylinders.

Onigiri is usually filled with other ingredients such as marinated seaweed, pickled plum, and salmon. You can also find it grilled, which is called yaki onigiri.

Where can I buy onigiri?

Unless you live in an area that has a high number of Asians, it may be difficult to find onigiri.

In the United States, onigiri is sometimes available at Japanese/sushi restaurants. The onigiri served at restaurants will be more expensive than onigiri bought somewhere else.

To find onigiri in a store, Google-search Asian markets or Asian specialty grocery stores. This will be your best bet to find onigiri. Some grocery stores such as H-Mart may have onigiri available.

In Japan, you can get onigiri at any convenience store. They are served hot or cold and come in many different varieties. They usually cost over 100 yen, or $1 to $1.50 in US currency.

While finding onigiri in the United States may be a challenge, it is very easy to make your own onigiri.

You can find the ingredients for onigiri at almost any grocery store. Try Whole Foods for the best ingredients and the best variety.

Can I buy onigiri online?

Yes, you can buy onigiri online. Amazon offers many different kinds of onigiri or rice balls.

If you are looking to try onigiri for the first time, you can purchase a sampler pack that offers a variety of kinds to try, like this pack of three different varieties.

You can also buy the ingredients for onigiri (rice, seaweed, seasonings) online and try your hand at making them yourself.

Can I make onigiri at home?

Yes, onigiri is easy to make. Start with the rice. Any rice will work, but you will want to use short-grain rice, like this Ubara Rice, for a more authentic Japanese onigiri.

You will also need furikake. Furikake is small bits of seaweed, sesame seeds, and other seasonings. You can choose from a variety of furikake, I like this one from Ajishima Foods.

Next, you will need nori, which is the edible seaweed used to wrap onigiri, like this one here.

These are the essential ingredients for onigiri. You can add just about any ingredient you want so that you can try different kinds of onigiri, or you can just make it with rice, salt, and seaweed.

It is easy to make onigiri. Place your steamed rice on plastic wrap. Put your added ingredients in the center and form a ball or other shape. You can use plastic wrap to help shape your rice.

If you will be making onigiri more often, you can consider getting these fun triangular onigiri molds for easing shaping.

Wrap your creation in seaweed, and you’re done!

Find the best rice cookers for white rice, brown, sushi or even quinoa reviewed here

Wrap up

Onigiri is delicious Japanese snack food. But if you don’t live in Japan, it can be hard to find.

To find onigiri in the United States, you can try Japanese restaurants and sushi restaurants. While this will be the most expensive way to try onigiri, it is the fastest and most authentic.

To find onigiri in a store, you will have to find an Asian market or another store like H Mart, which is a Korean grocery store.

While it can be difficult to find onigiri, the ingredients for onigiri are easy to find and it is easy to make. All you need for basic onigiri, or salt onigiri, is rice, seaweed, and salt.

Read next: Is onigiri gluten free? Yes, but watch out for the fillings and sauce

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.