Onigiri - How to make Japanese-style rice balls

Onigiri is a traditional Japanese dish, made from rice mixed with spices, then wrapped with seaweed or various fillings such as fish, bamboo shoots, or ume (sour plum). This dish is usually made into small triangles or circles and is often packed in a triangle shape with seaweed.

May 22, 2024 - 13:39
Onigiri - How to make Japanese-style rice balls
Prep Time 30 min
Cook Time 20 min
Serving 2
Difficulty Easy


  1. Cook rice: (Cooking time: 20 minutes) Cook sticky rice or white rice as usual. Make sure the rice is just cooked and slightly moist so it's easy to spread and shape into onigiri.
  2. Prepare the filling: (Preparation time: 10 minutes) If you are using the filling, prepare it in advance by cooking or lightly frying it depending on the type of filling you choose.
  3. Prepare the seaweed (nori): If your seaweed is large, you can cut it into small pieces that match the size of the onigiri. If the seaweed is small, you can leave it whole.
  4. Rice seasoning (optional): (Preparation time: 5 minutes) In a small bowl, combine some salt, rice vinegar and sugar, then mix well with the rice. This will create flavor and keep the onigiri rice from drying out.
  5. Building the onigiri: (Preparation time: 5 minutes) To build the onigiri, you can use a mold or create a triangle by hand. Take some rice, place it on the palm of your hand, add filling in the middle (if any), then clench and shape into onigiri.
  6. Wrap the seaweed: (Preparation time: 5 minutes) Finally, wrap each onigiri with a piece of seaweed. Make sure the seaweed covers the entire surface of the onigiri.
  7. Enjoy: Onigiri can be eaten warm or cold, making it a great choice for breakfast, lunch or as a snack.


  • Delicious Japanese sticky rice or white rice
  • Seaweed (nori)
  • Optional filling (fish, chicken, bamboo shoots, ume, or other vegetables)
  • Spices such as salt, rice vinegar, sugar (optional)


Onigiri is basically a Japanese rice ball, wrapped in a sheet of black nori seaweed. The core ingredient is rice that is cooked and compressed into different shapes such as triangles, balls or cylinders. The fillings inside are also very diverse, from simple foods like salt and soy sauce to more sophisticated foods like salmon, fish eggs...

Note: You can add spices and fillings according to your personal preferences to create a variety of flavors for onigiri. Good luck and enjoy your meal!

Injavi 編集部 "InJavi" is a website that provides information for foreigners to enjoy life and visit in Japan more smoothly. This website is easy to use even for first-timers to Japan and those who are not very good at Japanese, and supports multiple languages. 「InJavi」は、外国人が日本の生活や観光をよりスムーズに楽しむための情報を提供するウェブサイトです。 初めて日本を訪れる方や日本語が苦手な方でも使いやすい、多言語対応サイトです。