15 Onigiri Recipes (+ Best Japanese Rice Ball Toppings)

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Try these onigiri recipes for a real taste of Japan!

In Japan, onigiri is a popular snack in convenience stores and bento boxes.

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Think of onigiri as the Japanese version of the sandwich. Not only are they delicious and surprisingly filling, but they’re so much fun to make!

Onigirazu with brown rice, avocado and cucumber

The classic onigiri incorporates savory and savory fillings wrapped in a nori sheet for easy handling.

They are so pretty and allow you to get creative with the toppings.

Check out these easy and satisfying onigiri recipes to stuff in your bento box below.

While many onigiri recipes require a trip to the Asian market, these spicy tuna rolls don’t require hard-to-find ingredients.

It combines sushi-grade rice and nori with a can of tuna and spicy seasoning. That’s it!

Making the garnish is easier than making a tuna salad. It gets a meaty flavor from tuna and a spicy kick from a little (or a lot) of sriracha.

For extra flair, coat your white rice balls with popping black sesame seeds!

If you’ve ever made dashi for ramen, there’s probably a container of kombu in your pantry somewhere.

Kombu is dried seaweed and has an ocean-like flavor to nori.

What differentiates kombu from nori is that it is thicker and has a stricter texture that is almost meaty.

The flavors are great when paired with sweet and savory seasonings like soy sauce, mirin, and sake.

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Kombu Tsukudani is a great vegan option that still imparts fishy flavors without the fish.

I have tried and failed, many times, to stuff onigiri.

It’s harder than you think! These plum rice balls are a must if tedious stuffing isn’t your thing.

This recipe incorporates pickled ume plums which are incredibly salty!

A little goes a long way in this dish.

If you have a salty tooth (like me!), the unique savory flavors of ume plums pair perfectly with the sticky rice.

In addition, no need to stuff them! Mix the plum mixture and rice together, and the red dots provide a superb finished product.

What I love most about these charred corn onigiri is that they are simple and full of flavor.

The charred corn offers mild umami flavors that pair perfectly with steamed rice.

Plus, there’s no need for padding! The charred corn mixes directly into the steamed sticky rice.

You can choose to wrap it in a nori sheet or skip this step.

These charred corn onigiri are worth a try if you’re not a fan of fishy flavors.

Chicken katsu translates to breaded chicken cutlets.

While most onigiri make a perfect snack, these hearty onigirazu make for a complete meal.

Think of this recipe as a Japanese sandwich.

It combines shredded cabbage with a perfectly tender katsu chicken cutlet and wraps it in a bed of sticky rice.

It’s tedious but well worth the end result.

Once wrapped in a nori sheet, it’s the ultimate treat to take with you on the go!

If you like salmon sushi, you will love this delicious salmon onigiri! Don’t worry, you don’t need sushi-grade salmon.

Since it uses cooked salmon, any store-bought salmon fillet will do.

What’s great about this super simple recipe is that all the ingredients shine independently.

Stuff perfectly cooked sushi-grade rice with tender salmon flakes and pair with your favorite onigiri.

That’s it!

Scrolling furiously, looking for cheese? Look no further!

These grilled yaki onigiri are cheesy, grilled and melt in your mouth.

This recipe uses Japanese 6P cheese, which can be hard to find.

If you can’t get your hands on it, opt for a salty semi-hard substitute like Gouda, Parmesan, or Cheddar.

Grilling them to perfection on the stovetop creates a crispy exterior with a gooey interior. Mouth watering?

These kimchi rice balls have a bit of everything. They are spicy, cheesy, crunchy, gooey, and slightly sweet.

It’s the perfect snack that’s surprisingly filling.

Kimchi is one of my favorite things to add to rice because it packs some heat with delicious sour and savory notes.

When combined with cheese, the flavors are out of this world.

Plus, since it doesn’t incorporate ingredients like nori, it’s the perfect option for those who don’t like fishy flavors.

Mentaiko is pickled cod roe or pollock with a mild flavor that is not overpowering.

Mentaiko mayonnaise is rich and flavorful and goes perfectly with rice.

They are lightly grilled on the stovetop to create a crispy exterior with a tender interior that melts in your mouth.

Make a big batch and keep them in the fridge for when you need a quick lunch or a delicious midnight snack.

I love miso. It’s crisp and salty with just a hint of sweetness.

These miso-grilled onigiri balls are crispy and sweet on the outside, with tender, savory umami flavors on the inside.

But it does not stop there.

For Ochazuke-style onigiri, our green tea over your rice balls just before serving.

It offers terrific earthy flavors that work so well with the sweet flavors of miso.

This mentaiko onigiri karashi recipe is simple. It doesn’t require a lot of ingredients and is easy to prepare in a snap.

The trick to this tasty recipe is the mentaiko karashi.

Karashi mentaiko is spicy salt cod or pollock roe that packs a flavorful punch.

It’s a bit tedious to wrap up all those rice balls, but it’s worth it.

What I love about Okaka onigiri is that it has bold, smoky flavors without the need for meat.

Skipjack flakes are dried fish shredded into fine flakes and pack a powerful smoky and salty punch.

When seasoned with soy sauce, it adds a touch of sweetness to these and helps the smoky flavors of the bonito flakes shine through.

Also, there is no need to stuff these balls. They are smoky, salty, sweet and 100% addictive.

Shrimp tempura in a rice ball? Yes please!

Serving crispy tempura shrimp in tender rice might not work, but it does!

The flavors of shrimp with the crispy tempura batter wrapped around seasoned rice are out of a dream.

Seriously, these shrimp tempura rice balls are addictive.

While seafood often plays a central role in onigiri, chicken works just as well.

The best part about this recipe is that all the components mix together in one bowl, so there’s no need for tedious stuffing.

They infuse bright Japanese flavors from ground chicken, soy sauce, mirin, sugar and sake.

Wrap them in nori to add umami flavors, or omit the nori if you don’t like fishy flavors.

Yes, I’m talking about Spam, the American canned lunch meat.

Even if spamming isn’t exactly your thing, this recipe breathes new life into that tired lunch meat.

The salty, meaty flavors of Spam pair perfectly with a soft egg (with a runny yolk!) wrapped around tender rice.

Even if you are a Spam-skeptic, this delicious dish is worth trying!

Onigiri Recipes
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