Onigiri Recipe: How to Make a 5-minutes Lunch

Onigiri Recipe

Some days you might lack the appetite to eat a full course meal, or you could be busy with your tasks to the point there is no spare time for cooking. However, an empty stomach will make you feel less energetic for the day. 

Which is why onigiri is the best solution to your meal dilemma. 

These triangular rice balls are common in Japanese convenience stores and households. It is a popular lunch box menu among Japanese mothers for their husbands and children. Many Japanese people favor onigiri as their top picnic food choice because of its durability and simplicity.

An interesting feature about onigiri is it can be eaten in different ways. Some people love steaming hot rice while some prefer it chilled. Light eaters can have onigiri as a meal while some eaters enjoy it as a snack. This recipe will teach you on making a basic onigiri. We also include an extra guide to onigiri fillings if you want more flavor on your rice ball.

Onigiri Recipe

Recipe by SunnyDifficulty: Easy
Prep Time

35 mins

Cooking Time

30 mins


1 hr and 5 mins



Ingredients and tools

  • 1 dried nori sheet

  • 2 cups of steamed sushi rice

  • 1 ounce of black of white sesame seeds (optional)

  • Kosher salt (to taste)

  • Clean water (to wet your hands)


  • Prepare your steamed sushi rice an hour before making the onigiri.
  • Cut the nori sheet into 8-9 strips.
  • Prepare a bowl of clean water and a tiny bowl of salt.
  • Separate the steamed rice into palm-size portions.
  • If you are using sesame seeds, mix the seeds with the steamed rice until even.
  • Wet your hands in a bowl and sprinkle some salt on your palms to prevent rice sticking on your hands. This also keeps your onigiri fresh for a long time.
  • Take one portion of the rice in your hand and begin molding into a triangular shape. Remember not to put too much pressure onto your rice ball or it will go out of shape.
  • Gently rotate the rice ball around to make the sides even until you get your desired shape.
  • Place a nori strip on the bottom of the rice ball with the rough side facing the rice and fold the strip ends upwards.
  • If you wish to have your onigiri the next day, use a plastic wrapper to cover and store in the fridge.

    Onigiri with Fillings

    Image credit: All ways delicious

    Once you have mastered the basic onigiri, you can proceed with adding the fillings. The onigiri fillings should be about the size of a tablespoon.

    Here are some of the delicious filling choices for your onigiri: 

    • Pickled plum
    • Shredded tuna with mayo
    • Shredded chicken with mayo
    • Shredded salmon with mayo
    • Salmon cod roe

    Instructions for Adding the Fillings:

    1. Make a dent in the middle of the rice portion.
    2. Add in your choice of filling into the dent.
    3. Fold the rice over and gently press to secure.

    Experiment more to make your perfect onigiri.

    You can find more recipes from LokaEats



    Related Posts