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These cute Onigiri or Japanese rice balls are the combination of savory fillings which make an ideal snack to carry with you and even delicious lunches on the go.

Onigiri (Rice Ball) with Spicy Salmon

5 from 3 votes
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These cute Onigiri or Japanese rice balls are the combination of savory fillings which make an ideal snack to carry with you and even delicious lunches on the go.
Servings: 6
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 3-4 cups cooked sushi rice (see notes)
  • 8 oz about 1 cup baked salmon or canned salmon, or canned tuna
  • 2 tsp Kewpie mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp Sriracha chili sauce or other hot sauce of your choice depends on how spicy you like
  • 2 tbsp of Furikake ** optional for rice seasoning, add more for garnish
  • 1 sheet of Nori


For Sushi Rice:

  • First, cook the rice according to its package's instruction. Once the rice is done, add 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 2 tbsp of sugar & 1 tsp salt. Sprinkle the Furikake rice seasoning and mix well. Set aside and let cool while you make the filling.

For the Fillings:

  • Prepare the salmon by brushing it with the Tare sauce (mix 1 tbsp dark soy sauce, Mirin, sake & 1 tsp of sugar) or you can simply season it with salt. Bake the salmon for 12 minutes or until cooked.
  • Once the salmon is done, let it cool down a bit and put in a bowl and shred it. Add the mayonnaise and the sriracha. Mix gently. Taste and add salt if necessary.

Wrapping Onigiri by Hands:

  • Wet your hands to keep the sushi rice from sticking to them. Spread a palmful of warm sushi rice into one hand.
    fillings for onigiri
  • Place the filling in the center. Fold up the rice around the filling and pack the rice tightly with both hands into a triangular shape.
    Japanese Rice Ball recipe

Wrapping Onigiri with Mold:

  • Rinse your mold with water and fill halfway with sushi rice. With wet hands, make a little indent in the center. Add the fillings without overstuffing.
  • Cover the filling with more sushi rice, but dont stuff it. Cover the rice mold with the lid and press down. If you can't press down all the way, you have used too much rice. If you press down too easily (there should be gentle pressure needed), you have put too little rice.
  • Remove the lid, invert the mold, and press down on the “button” to release.
  • Cut a seaweed in rectangular-shaped (size varies according to your likeness) and place over the rice to cover. The dampness from the rice should help hold the seaweed to the rice ball, but you can use a few grains of extra rice to seal it.
  • Or you can coat the sides of onigiri with furikake rice seasoning.
  • Serve and enjoy it immediately.


1.) I recommend using the stickier Koshihikari sushi rice because the shape holds better with it, but it's a bit expensive. You can also use medium or short-grained rice because they stick better than the long-grain varieties like jasmine rice.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 84kcal | Protein: 11g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 653mg | Potassium: 159mg | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg

Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.

Did you make this?I would love seeing what you've made! Tag me on Instagram @theforkbitedotcom or leave me a comment or rating below.
Course: Appetizer, snacks
Cuisine: Japanese
Keywords: cute Onigiri, how to make japanese rice balls, Japanese rice balls, japanese rice balls recipe, rice balls japanese