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[Recipe] The Most Known and Appreciated : The Onigiri おにぎり

onigiri japan cooking


Onigiri おにぎり  proud representative of Japan, incredible and delicious "stuffed rice balls" that everyone loves. Their preparation is really simple, few procedures and quick, then the only thing left is ... to eat them..

You can find them in every Minimarket, large retailer or small shop, there are shelves full of every type, shape and flavor, all at a very affordable price. It makes an appearance in practically every anime, drama and manga, because they are a "classic", who says Onigiri says Japan.

The processing only requires a little more time in the final part (working it to give it the shape of a triangle), the ingredients are very simple. The "filling" varies according to taste, but the classic onigiri can be divided into:

  • umeboshi (One salted pickled plum)
  • shiojake | shiozake (Cooked and salted salmon)
  • katsuobushi or okaka (Boito flakes in soy sauce)
  • shio kombu  (Kombu seaweed salate)
  • tarako  (Cod roe salate).

The beauty of Onigiri is their versatility and the fact that everyone customizes them according to their own tastes, which is why they are so popular and anyone (child or adult) eats them.

Following the original recipe, the problem you might have is finding the rice that is used in Japan, thin, "fat" with a fine grain,  uruchimai (粳米), a type of rice that once cooked keeps its shape without unravel too much. However, you can choose the rice that you find best, here too it depends on your tastes and adapting a recipe to your needs is never a bad thing.

The first fundamental step is washing the rice. Put the rice in a bowl with plenty of water and start "rubbing" it. You will notice that the water becomes cloudy and white, continue (changing the water) several times until it is transparent (or almost). Once done let it drain calmly.

Second step is cooking the rice. In a saucepan, boil the water with the rice over low heat, always keeping it covered. When it starts boiling, turn the heat up to maximum until it's cooked (absorbing all the water). Let it rest (at least 10 minutes) and then turn everything around.

Third step is the processing. Once cooled we can start working it. We all know that onigiri are triangular in shape, but that doesn't mean you have to. In recent years, to vary and be even more trendy, many have given them different shapes, so follow your tastes.

Moisten your hands (prevent the rice from sticking), put a little salt, take some rice and place it on the palm. Make a hole in the center where you will insert the "stuffing" with the flavor you prefer. Close well so it doesn't come out and start giving it the shape you prefer.

Last step Alga Nori. This last step will give the classic shape of the onigiri that we all know. This particular seaweed can now be found in large supermarkets, medium and ethnic ones, it is easy to find, you shouldn't have too many problems.

onigiri japan


There are now many onigiri stencils on the market to give them the classic triangular shape or other more particular ones, so don't worry if you have little manual skills.

Continue to follow our recipes, the flavors from the Rising Sun that you have tried on your travels and that you may want to try again at home.



Recipe, Onigiri, Mauro Piacentini

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