Rating: 4.5 stars
4 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 3
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 1
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  • 1 star values: 0

Rice shaped in triangles or balls filled with your favorite ingredients. Common fillings are pickled plums or salmon but just about anything salty will work and plain is also very tasty. A yummy alternative to the American sandwich and a staple for any bento (Japanese boxed lunch). Store in the refrigerator.

Recipe Summary

20 mins
25 mins
10 mins
55 mins
6 onigiri


Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine 2 cups water, rice, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent rice from sticking, until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. Fluff with a fork; cool rice until easily handled, about 10 minutes.

  • Fill a small bowl with water. Place 2 tablespoons of salt in another small bowl.

  • Dip hands in water and rub salt over hands. Take a handful of warm rice and form it into a ball; gently squish with your hands into an "L" or "C" shape, then apply gentle pressure to the sides to shape it into a triangle.

  • Wrap a strip of nori around the triangle, using a bit of water to help it stick if necessary.

Cook's Notes:

Sushi rice can be used instead of jasmine rice if desired. Salt can be replaced with garlic salt, seasoned salt, or a mix of Chinese five-spice powder with salt.

If adding a filling, gently push on the rice ball in step 3 to create a small pocket for the filling.

It's important to shape rice while still warm otherwise it won't stick as well. This takes lots of practice and patience so don't be discouraged if you don't get it right the first time.

Nori is commonly used in sushi and can be found in most grocery stores or Asian markets. I usually cut into strips with scissors. Nori has a distinctly fishy smell and taste so if you don't like fish or sushi I would recommend not adding it.

Nutrition Facts

114 calories; protein 2.2g; carbohydrates 25.6g; sodium 28.4mg. Full Nutrition