Onigiri (rice Balls)

"My family looovess these rice balls and they are often requested at get togethers. A simple recipe. It can be served as an entree with the salmon or the salmon can be left out. Make sure to wet your hands in water so the rice does not stick to your hands."
photo by Tare Panda photo by Tare Panda
photo by Tare Panda
photo by BirdyBaker photo by BirdyBaker
Ready In:
8 rice balls




  • Sprinkle salmon with salt and let sit for 30 minute.
  • Grill or fry the salmon until the edges are a little bit burned.
  • When cool, flake salmon into small pieces and set aside.
  • Cut nori into 8 equally sized, rectangular strips.
  • Put warm rice in a bowl and combine with salmon and sesame seeds.
  • Put a pinch of salt on your hands and take a 1/2 cup ball of rice.
  • Form the rice into either a round or triangular shape br pressing lightly with both of your palms.
  • Wrap a strip of nori around each rice ball.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Just a tip to all you aspiring onigiri chefs, when molding the riceballs, dunk your hands in salt water and the rice wont stick to them.
  2. I've had similar onigiri both at home and in Japan and they are wonderful! I was taught to put the rice into cling wrap to mould the triangle shapes but using wet hands works just as well. I used smoked salmon in place of the grilled salmon for a different flavour. For children or those who don't like salmon, flavourings (such as dried bonito flakes or nori and sesame) can be found in Asian food stores which are sprinkled on the onigiri.
  3. I don't recommend touching the onigiri with your bare hands. I always use Saran Wrap. This way your onigiri will be bactaria free and lasts longer. Place a saran wrap on the counter, sprinkle salt there. Put rice. Hold Onigiri with Saran Wrap and make a perfect triangle. Open the saran wrap and put more salt on the other side. Cut Nori in half in Triagle shape. Put the upside down triagle nori over the triangle oginiri, and wrap it. Nori will cover the onigiri perfectly.Then wrap the nori onigiri with the same saran wrap.
  4. Have made this with DD several times and now she makes it herself. Yummy and easy to make. DD wets here hands with mirin for extra flavor. She also likes it without the salmon for a quick after school snack. Thanks BirdyBaker!
  5. Great recipe, my 4-year-old gobbled them up! I used canned salmon I had lying around, but I'm going to try using fresh salmon next time to see if there's a difference in flavor. They were surprisingly easy to form into the little triangles, although I had trouble getting the nori to stick to them so I just ditched that.


  1. This was my first time trying Onigiri and it was just delicious. I didn't have any seaweed on hand, so I skipped that. Also I used tuna instead of salmon and blended it in with the rice before shapping instead of putting it in the middle.


Hi Everyone! I have just changed my image here on 'zaar. The big bird in the pic is none other than me, BirdyBaker. It was from Halloween 04. I made the costume myself and it was so much fun!. I am a highschool student and I love photography,painting crafts and everything else artistic. I LOVE to write, anything, from essays to fiction to poetry. It's so much fun! I also am very interested in Asian culture and want to work in Japan someday. I have a passion for cooking and try to cook as much as I can, trying to make a different dish each time. I am just crazy over my 3 birds, George Arthur, Bailey and Jazzy, hence the name "BirdyBaker"...lol
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