Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls)

Rice balls are a common snack and lunch item in Japan. The nori, or toasted seaweed, that is wrapped around the balls is available in most grocery stores and in any Asian market. Rice balls are best fresh, but you can make them the night before to make packing lunches easier.

Serves: 6Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 20 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 6


  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups freshly cooked medium grain rice
  • 1 large sheet of nori, cut into 6 (3") pieces


  • In a medium bowl, mix water with salt and stir until salt is completely dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Allow freshly cooked rice to cool enough that you can handle it without burning yourself. Dip your hands into the salted water then scoop about ½ cup of warm rice into one hand. Using your other hand first form the rice into a rough triangle and then into a ball. Do not squeeze the rice too tightly.
  • Once the rice has been formed, take one strip of the nori and wrap around one side of the ball. Serve immediately, or wrap with plastic and refrigerate overnight.