Japanese Onigiri seasoning & fillings (おにぎり)

“Onigiri” (おにぎり) is one of the Japanese soul food.  This is called “Omusubi (おむすび) also. “When we have been for long time by business trip or study abroad, we always miss Ramen, Sushi or this Onigiri.

Today, I would like to introduce Japanese soul food ,Onigiri.


The onigiri means hand-rolled steamed rice ball sprinkled with salt and wrapped in a sheet of dried laver (Nori). Usually, this shape are tripod, ball or sand bag shape. 

How to make onigiri


In general, many people soak their hands in water and make the rice in their hands, but I don’t like to get rice grains on my palm, so I always use plastic wrap.

Onigiri making

Tips for making a triangular onigiri movie.

FYI: Youtube

Onigiri pro-use mold

Professionals onigiri restaurant uses this type of mold.
Some molds can make six at a time, but there are many complaints such as, “I can’t remove the mold.” or “I can’t put the filling in”.
So, I recommend you this type, if you want to use mold.

Onigiri mold


It’s very easy to make. mixed seasoning rice at first, then add the rice to the mold.
Next, stuffing an ingredient into Onigiri. 
Finally, just close the lid strongly.
That’s all. Very easy,right?
This is often sold at 100Yen shop in Japan.

Onigiri fillings

ume onigiri

The most common ingredient is Umeboshi(Sour pickled plum). We eat well grilled salmon, sweetened kombu seaweed, Mentaiko(spicy cod roe), Ikra(salmon roe), Katsuobushi(bonito flakes with soy sauce), or tuna mayonnaise also. 


ume onigiri

Umeboshi means Japanese salt plums. This is to prevent the rice from rotting. This is very sour because of full of citric acid.

Citric acid is also has making the body less tired. Athletes often eat lemon after sports, but we eat this one.

FYI: E-recipe

Okaka(おかか) recipe

“Okaka” means Katsuobushi mixed soy sauce. Only this recipe is called “Okaka”. Japanese don’t want to dump because of Mottainai, so we make it to eat after using for dashi.


Tarako(たらこ)/ Mentaiko(明太子)

Usually, cod roe is grilled. Mentaiko is left fresh. My most favorite is the mentaiko onigiri! It’s better to put the mentaiko between the rice.

FYI: Yamaya


This one has kombu tsukudani in it. Kombu onigiri is a favorite of both children and adults.

FYI: Cookpad

Tuna-mayo(ツナマヨ) recipe

Tuna mayo is tuna mixed with mayo. For Japanese-style recipes, mix soy sauce.

FYI: macaroni

Salmon(鮭) recipe

Roast salmon on the grill, remove skin and bones, and break up coarsely.

FYI: Ajinomoto

Onigiri Seasoning


The seasoning is basically a pinch of salt sprinkled for preventing spoilage.  

 Or  they are sprinkled with white sesame seeds or furikake, They are also Shirasu(boiled baits) , the Mentsuyu flavor, or Mazegohan used well.

Arajio (粗塩)

sio onigiri

“Arajio” means sea salt.  If rice and salt are so delicious, you can eat rice with onigiri as a side dish! 

It’s true!!

Furikake (ふりかけ)

“Furikake” is the noun for sprinkling.

In Japan, there are also furikake for the onigiri. There are countless kinds of furikake, such as wasabi-flavored, takana, shirasu, and so on…

The most popular furikake is “Noritama”. This is a combination of sweetened dried egg and chopped seaweed.

It is a devilish seasoning that makes you eat as many bowls of rice as you want.

I recommend this set of Furikake!
Noritama, Tarako, Sukiyaki, and Grilled salmon flavours!

Akuma no Onigiri (Onigiri del diablo /悪魔のおにぎり)

“Akuma no” means devil’s.
This recipe is made by a Japanese Antarctic chef!
Originally, it was made the night meal for crews. These onigiri are too yummy to stop eating in spite of midnight.
So, it is named “Onigiri like the devil made it”.

FYI: Shuhu no tatsujin navi

Onigiri Wrapping


Generally, it is wrapped with a Nori or seaweeds, but we sometimes wrap with a thin omelette or Shiso as follows.

Omu-subi recipe(オムすび)

In Japan, there is a Western dish called “Omu-rice”. This recipe is a combination of the words “omusubi” and “omu-rice”.

FYI: Snap dish

Shiso leave (紫蘇)


Shiso is Japanese perilla. The larger leaves are also called “Oba”. Use the green ones.

Tororo-kombu (とろろ昆布)

“Tororo-kombu” is called Japanese yam kelp. It is very sticky and looks like grated yam. (The grated yam is called “Tororo” in Japanese)

The dried kelp is used instead of Nori.
They do not sell in convenience stores or restaurants because it is too sticky to keep one’s shape for a long time.

We often eat this in clear soup.

Onigirazu (おにぎらず)


In Italy, I have heard that a woman who cannot do housework is made fun of “Such a woman who can’t iron shirts even…“.

In Japan, such a woman is said 

Such a woman who can’t make Onigiri even…

So, the round shape Onigiri is a symbol of shame for Japanese housewife!


It was embarrassing that women can not make Onigiri, but recently, Such people making sandwich-shaped products called “Onigirazu (おにぎらず)” has increased, and that prejudice has been slightly reduced.

A woman from 100 years ago might laugh at this, though…


Onigiri that are dipped in miso and grilled, or charred with a net, are called “Yaki onigiri”.

Yaki onigiri (焼きおにぎり)

“Yaki onigiri” means a grilled rice ball.
This Onigiri is flavored with soy source or miso and grilled on surface. We often purposely burn the surface and eat it. Because that is crispier aroma and more tasty!

FYI: Delish kitchen

Nikumaki onigiri (肉巻きおにぎり)

The meaning of “Nikumaki” is a meat roll.
This rice balls are wrapped in sliced teriyaki pork.

Boys love this onigiri.

FYI: Cookpad

Rice (米)

How many kinds of rice do you think?

In fact, there are approx.500 varieties registered in Japan! These are completely different from SAKE and glutinous rice.

Japan Grain Inspection Association grade test based on a sensory test of cooked rice every year. It is the same as the French wine grading.

Indica rice do not use


Kinds of rice is the most important for Onigiri.

Indica rice goes well for western foods, but not for Japanese foods. Because it is too dry texture so that we can not grab hard it.
Japanese steamed rice is rather sticky.

The UONUMA Brand


The place of finest rice in Japan is Uonuma City (魚沼市), Niigata Prefecture, Hokuriku. this city is famous place for Sake and fishes also.

Niigata prefecture (新潟県)


Niigata Prefecture is famous for its sake. The rice, water and fishes are so delicious that many people from Tokyo move here. However, in winter it snows more than Hokkaido and is much colder.

If you want to discover the hidden gems of Japanese Sake, you should go to Niigata. It is said that this place has the highest consumption of sake in Japan, so the really tasty sake is drunk in Niigata Prefecture only.

The Uonuma rice (魚沼産)


“The UONUMA” rice is more than 8USD per kg! (Usually the price we eat is less than 2-3USD.) 

It is so popular that there are fake rice products on the market, and you rarely see real Uonuma rice in Tokyo. The cheap Uonuma-rice is called “blended rice”.
This is sold mixed with other cheaper rice.

Real Uonuma rice is very delicious…actually unbelievable tasty😍

Why not make Onigiri at home?
It can keep for a long time after freezed.

Although it is yummy after getting cold even, I recommend to microwave before you eat. You can put Nori wrapping as you like. We usually prefer crispy nori to moist one. 

Onigiri fills me up better and healthier than bread does.
Moreover, you can save lunch cost too!

Enjoy your Onigiri life😉

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