Onigiri – Rice Balls
Servings Prep Time
2people 20minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
2people 20minutes
Cook Time
For Cooked Rice
  • 1cup uncooked Japanese short grain rice
  • 1 1/4cup water
For Onigiri
  • 1/4sheet sheet nori seaweed
  • 1 pickled plums (umeboshi)
  • salt
For Tuna Mayo
  • 2Tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
  • 1/2Tsp salt
  • black pepper
To Cook Rice
  1. Put the rice in a large bowl and wash the rice gently and discard the water. Repeat this process 3-4 times. Drain and rinse until the water is almost clear.
  2. Transfer the rice into a fine mesh sieve and drain completely and let it sit for about 30 minutes.
  3. Put rice in a rice cooker or pot. Add the water. Let the rice soak for about 15 minutes. The length of time depends on the freshness of the rice. The older the rice, the longer it needs to soak. (Then, if you’re using a rice cooker, just turn on the switch)
  4. (This step is for using a pot)Cover the lid and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Once water is boiling, turn the heat to the low setting and continue to cook covered for about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the pot (with the lid on) from the heat and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Fluff the rice with a scooper.
For Tuna Mayo
  1. Drain canned tuna and put it in a bowl. Add 2 Tbsp Japanese mayonnaise and salt. Mix it well.
To Pickled Plums Preparation
  1. Remove the seed from pickled plums. If it’s a big one, break it up into small pieces.
Making Onigiri
  1. Make sure that cooked rice is cool enough handle with your hand. Do not burn your palm.
  2. Wet your both of your hands with water so that the rice is not going to stick to your hands. With about 1/4 tsp of salt sprinkled on your hands, put about 1/3 cup of cooked rice on your left hand (if you’re right handed. If you’re left handed, probably you want to put rice on you right hand). Create a small indentation in the center of the rice. Put tuna mayo or pickled plum in the indentation. Then mold the rice into whatever the shape you like.
  3. Wrap the onigiri with nori (dried seaweed)
  4. Place a small amount of the filling on top of the onigiri so that we can tell what’s inside.