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Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls)

<em>Onigiri</em> (Japanese Rice Balls) Related:   appetizers, Asia, gluten-free, kid-friendly, Purim, rice & grains, vegan, vegetarian

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook time:

Yield: 12 onigiri

Put down the rolling pin and create a new kind of triangle to enjoy during Purim. Onigiri are Japanese triangle-shaped rice treats featuring hidden fillings. Keep it classic by sprinkling the rice with sesame seeds or furikake, or get creative with your fillings, for example filling with chicken or tuna to make it a meal.


  • 2 cups uncooked Japanese short-grain rice (makes 4 cups cooked)
  • 2¼ cups water
  • 2-3 sheets nori (dried seaweed)
  • Kosher salt
  • Filling ingredients: Tuna and mayo, sesame seeds, smoked salmon, Japanese pickled plum, furikake, scallions and miso, grilled beef or chicken, sweet red bean paste


  • Make rice: Rinse the rice in a mesh sieve with cold water until the water runs clear. Pour the rice into a pot and add water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to low and cook for 10 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit, still covered, for 10 more minutes. Remove lid and fluff rice with a fork. Let cool slightly.
  • Prepare fillings: While the rice is cooking, chop the fillings small and put in bowls. Set aside a bowl for salt and another one for water. Cut the nori sheets into strips (you can usually get 3 to 4 strips per sheet).
  • Make onigiri: Wet both hands with water and rub some salt in your palms. Scoop out 1/3 cup of rice and create a small indentation in the center. Put 1 to 2 teaspoons of the filling of your choice inside and mold the rice in your palms to cover completely. Shape the rice into a triangle, using your palms, and wrap with nori, folding it around the rice. Repeat with remaining rice and nori strips. Eat immediately or store at room at room temperature for several hours (unless filled with ingredients that need to be kept in the fridge, such as raw fish).

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