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How to Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) | Ultimate Guide


  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 Rice Balls 1x

Description

This Ultimate Guide covers How to Make Onigiri from start to finish. You’ll learn a variety of ways to season and fill them, and different ways of shaping and wrapping them perfectly every time! Plus, helpful tips and tricks to choosing the best ingredients and storing these Japanese Rice Balls.


Scale

Ingredients


Instructions

  1. First rinse 3 cups of short grain rice and then add it into the rice cooker. Fill with water until the 3 mark line* and allow the rice to cook. In the meantime, cut up some nori sheets (refer to information and photos above). 
  2. Once the rice is finished cooking, let it rest for 5-10 minutes in the rice cooker. In the meantime, set up your work station. You should have a small bowl of salt, water, furikake and your fillings ready to be used. As well, keep a tray or container close by to place your finished rice balls on. 
  3. Open the rice cooker than gently mix the rice and cover with a damp cloth. Bring it over to your work station.

ONIGIRI MOLD METHOD

  1. Filled Onigiri: Place some rice into a medium size bowl and sprinkle some salt over. Mix with the rice paddle. Place a small scoop of rice (just enough to fill the bottom part of the mold) and gently press it in. Make a small indent in the middle and place 1 umeboshi (or 1/2-1 tbsp of some kind of filling) in the indent. Cover with more rice until 3/4 of the way full and then place the lid on top. Gently press down until it’s formed into a rice ball. Lightly wet your hands and dab your pointer finger and middle finger in the salt and rub between your hands. Place the rice ball between your hands and cup it (like if you were to hand-mold the onigiri). This just ensures the rice ball is salted throughout for preserving longer. Place onto a tray or container and cover with a damp cloth. Repeat until you make as many as you desire.
  2. Seasoned Onigiri: Place some rice into a medium size bowl and sprinkle some Furikake or Yukari Shiso in. Mix with the rice paddle. Place a scoop of rice until 3/4 of the way full and then place the lid on top. Gently press down until it’s formed into a rice ball. Lightly wet your hands and dab your pointer finger in the salt and rub between your hands. Place the rice ball between your hands and cup it (like if you were to hand-mold the onigiri). Place onto a tray or container and cover with a damp cloth. Repeat until you make as many as you desire.

ONIGIRI HAND MADE METHOD

  1. Filled Onigiri: Place some rice into a medium size bowl and sprinkle some salt over. Mix with the rice paddle. Wet your hands and dab your pointer finger and middle finger in the salt, rub between your hands. Place a scoop of rice in the middle of your hand (around 1/3 – 1/2 cup) and gently press it in your palm. Make a small indent in the middle and add 1 pitted umeboshi or 1/2-1 tbsp of filling. With the hand holding the rice ball, curl your hand more and slowly cover the filling with rice from the side. Shape it into a ball or rounded triangle by gently pressing between your two hands. Place onto a tray or container and cover with a damp cloth. Repeat until you make as many as you desire.
  2. Seasoned Onigiri: Place some rice into a medium size bowl and sprinkle some Furikake or Yukari Shiso in. Mix with the rice paddle. Wet your hands and dab your pointer finger and middle finger in the salt, rub between your hands. Place a scoop of rice (around 1/3 – 1/2 cup) on to your hand and shape into a ball or rounded triangle. Place onto a tray or container and cover with a damp cloth. Repeat until you make as many as you desire.

Wrapping Onigiri with Roasted Seaweed

  1. If eating immediately, wrap your rice balls with the roasted cut up nori sheets and serve.
  2. If eating later, wrap your onigiri with some cling wrap or place in a bento box. Place the nori in a separate container to keep them crisp. Wrap the rice balls before eating. 

Notes

  1. If you don’t own a Japanese rice cooker, cook your rice how you usually would with the ratio of 1 cup of rice (250g) to 1 1/4 cup of water (312ml). So if you use 2 cups of rice (500g), then add 3 cups (624ml) of water. 

Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer), based on 1 out of 12 regular salted Onigiri Ball

  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Rice Cooker
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Rice Ball
  • Calories: 154
  • Sugar: 0
  • Sodium: 388mg
  • Fat: 0.3
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0.2
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 33.4
  • Fiber: 0.4
  • Protein: 3.2
  • Cholesterol: 0

Keywords: Onigiri, Japanese rice balls