Japanese Rice Balls (Onigiri)

Japanese Rice Balls (Onigiri)

3.6 of 5 (14)
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Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 12
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 220.0
  • Total Fat: 0.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 141.6 mg
  • Sodium: 404.3 mg
  • Total Carbs: 44.2 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.3 g
  • Protein: 6.8 g

View full nutritional breakdown of Japanese Rice Balls (Onigiri) calories by ingredient
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Number of Servings: 12


    4 cups medium grain rice
    1 envelope bonito shavings
    5 seasoned plums (umeboshi)
    4 ounces salmon
    2 sheets nori
    2 tsp salt


Rinse salmon and pat dry with a paper towel.
Sprinkle with salt.
Place on a rack over a cookie sheet or small dish and bake in 400F oven for an hour to dry it out.
Cook rice according to package directions (i.e. without adding fat) so that it's sticky.
Prepare three bowls.
When salmon is done, ground the fillet up into small pieces with a fork or mortar and pestle and place in the first bowl.
Mash seasoned plums with a fork and place in second bowl. Empty contents of one small bonito shaving envelope into the third bowl.
Divide rice into three portions, and add one portion to each bowl.
Mix lightly to combine with seasoning ingredient.
Wet hands slightly.
Dip one finger tip into leftover salt and smear the salt so that sticks on both hands.
Take 1/4 of rice mixture from first bowl.
Form into a ball. Make it compact, but not so much that the grains of rice become mush.
Form into a triangle, square, or cylinder. Repeat for the remaining rice.
Each seasoning bowl should yield four rice balls, for a total of twelve.
Place each one on a piece of parchment paper to keep them from sticking.
Cut each sheet of nori into three strips lengthwise.
Then cut each strip in half.
Wrap one small strip of nori around the bottom of each rice ball to form an envelope to hold it with.
Serve immediately. If you won't be serving immediately, wait to wrap the rice in the nori, as it will absorb water from the rice and lose its crunch. Instead, wrap tightly and refrigerate. Let the rice balls come to room temperature before serving.

Number of Servings: 12

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user PRTYBRD.


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Member Ratings For This Recipe

  • Incredible!
    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
    I love onigiri, it makes a good lunch/snack. I tend to use tuna instead of salmon, but it is just as good. :) - 2/26/08

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  • Very Good
    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
    I have happy memories of rice balls (onigiri) as picnic items after going on a long hike through northern Japan. I have always wanted a recipe for them -- and here we are! I remember simple variations that were really tasty. Thanks! - 1/18/10

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  • Very Good
    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
    Make sure to use sticky rice (short grain, sushi) to make it easier. The salt is mostly used to keep the rice from sticking to your hands. I like to fill mine with ginger beef cooked in a sake reduction. - 1/18/10

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  • 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
    This sounds delicious but I question whether it is healthy to cook salmon at 400 degrees until dried out. Would that not wreck the great omega-3 fatty acids (that I understand are a bit delicate)? Could this work without the cooking the salmon to death part? - 1/18/10

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  • 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
    thanks for reminding me about this delicious food. Someone asked about the ingredients--well you can find them online easily. In my city, though, there are many Japanese grocery stores. - 1/19/10

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