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Monday, July 1, 2013

Japanese Onigiri

Today I'm really excited for Melyssa from The Nectar Collective to share a Japanese dish called onigiri! In case you aren't familiar with Melyssa, you can find a whole interview with her here, but you should also check out her awesome blog! I think you'll quickly find out why it's one of my favorites. Melyssa actually lives in Japan, so I was excited for her to share a recipe that I was totally unfamiliar with! I'll let Melyssa take it from here...


Hi everyone! My name is Melyssa and I'm a California girl currently living in Tokyo, Japan. I have a blog called The Nectar Collective where I share my travel adventures, creative projects, and tips on maintaining a positive lifestyle. I also have a corgi named Monja who makes an absurd amount of appearances on my blog. He even writes his own column...let's just say he's a pretty eccentric little guy.

Anyways, today, I'm sharing a traditional Japanese recipe with you for a food called "onigiri." Roughly translated into English, this means "rice ball" and I think you'll see, that is literally what this is! Except better, because a ball of rice would be kind of a boring recipe to share with you, right? No, onigiri is stuffed with anything under the sun. In Japan, you can walk into any convenience store and be faced with 20+ different onigiris for your choosing. Today, I'm sharing a typical Japanese onigiri and one that I invented called the California onigiri (don't tell Japan about that one). Shall we begin?



- White rice
- A bowl of water with salt in it
- Fillings (We'll talk about this below!)


First of all, cook your rice and let it cool a little so that you can handle it easily. Also, coat your hands in your water/salt mixture, which will keep the rice from sticking Then, as seen in step 1, take some rice and mold it into a ball-ish shape in your hands. Next, in step 2, make a dent in your ball. This is where your filling will go! Finally, in steps 3 and 4, add your filling into your ball! 

As far as fillings go, you can honestly use water you want (so long as it isn't super wet/mushy, which will make your onigiri soggy). In picture 3, I used avocado and cheese. This is the California Onigiri! In picture 4 I went for cooked salmon. Other popular alternatives are tuna with mayonnaise, seaweed, or fish, cooked or not. Lastly, add more rice on top of your ball to cover your filling. Mound it all together with your hands. If you want it to be triangular in shape, which is common in Japan, then it helps to make an L shape with your fingers and work the ball of rice against your hand.

That's it! Your'e done!

Once your rice and ingredients are cooked, you can make each onigiri in just a couple minutes! It's also pretty fun - like clay for hungry adults. I hope you enjoyed this little cultural recipe and I'd love to talk to you more over on my blog, The Nectar Collective. Have a great day, everyone!



  1. Replies
    1. I'm excited to give it a try too. Japanese food seems intimidating for some reason...this looks so easy!

  2. Very fun! I've always wanted to try onigiri. This looks so easy! :)


    1. Right? And it looks so cute!

    2. You should do it! One of them fell apart when I ate it haha but it was so delicious!

  3. this is one of my favorite meals! i especially like it with just a strip of seaweed on the outside...yummmm

    1. Yum, that sounds so awesome! I love sushi, but I have actually never tried onigiri before. I'm excited to give it a try!

    2. I'm glad you still like sushi, Chelsea, because I am starting to hate it! haha. I contemplated adding a strip to this tutorial but couldn't bring myself to have to eat them afterwards hahah

  4. gonna try it ,looks so yummy


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