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Onigiri rice balls recipe
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Onigiri Japanese rice balls recipe

When following this recipe, it is important to note that the fillings can vary—and you should make sure that you use your favorite fillings. You can put almost anything you want in Japanese rice balls. 
Course Snack
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword Rice, Sushi
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Joost Nusselder
Cost $8


  • 4 cups japanese sushi rice steamed
  • 1 dash salt to taste
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds optional
  • 2 sheets nori seaweed


  • ½ cup ume (pickled plum)
  • ½ cup grilled salted salmon


  • Steam the rice in a rice cooker or cooking pot for 8 minutes, drain and let it cool off
  • Meanwhile, cut the nori sheet into 8 – 9 strips, and then put around ½ cup of steamed rice in a rice bowl
  • Make sure that you wet your hands using water to prevent the rice from sticking
  • Rub your hands with some salt
  • Now, place the steamed rice on your hand—and make sure that it is thick and dense
  • You can now put your fillings—like grilled salmon or umeboshi on the rice and then push the fillings into the rice a bit
  • Next, hold the rice between your palms
  • Press it lightly using both palms to form a round, cylinder, or triangle shape, and then roll the rice ball with your hands, pressing it lightly
  • Using a strip or two of nori, wrap the rice ball or even sprinkle some sesame seeds on them
  • Serve
  • And of course, if you like the smiley faces for kids, or childlike dinner guests :) cut some of the nori into eyes and a smiling mouth for the triangle