Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls)

Rice balls are a common snack and lunch item in Japan. 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 pieces (each 3 inches)


  • 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 1⁄2 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.