Japanese Rice Balls Recipe | Step-by-step process

Japanese rice balls recipe


Konnichiwa! Today we will learn a unique recipe straight from the land of cherry blossoms. The land is called Japan. This food is an important part of the Japanese cuisine and is equally well known all over the world. We will learn about making onigiri, Japanese rice ball recipe. Before that let us know a little bit about the Japanese rice ball.

This rice ball is made out of white rice that is formed into a triangular or circular shape and then is covered with seaweed. It is a Japanese staple food.

Whether you are going for a picnic or you are preparing your child’s lunchbox. This rice ball is a must. Not to forget, they taste so unique. Sometimes many people confuse the rice ball with sushi. But that is not the factor. Basically, sushi is made with rice, vinegar, sugar, and other ingredients. While the rice ball is simply made with plain rice.

You can make the rice balls with many flavors. But here I will be presenting before you the original and simple way of making this rice ball. Hold your tummy a little longer. You cannot eat the rice balls until you know how to make it. Okay, I will talk any longer. Let’s get started.

What more:

The rice balls taste better when it’s enjoyed by the whole family. Unlike some Japanese recipes, this will be ready within 30 minutes. This is because so fewer ingredients are needed. The measurement of the ingredients will be according to 8 servings. That is 8 rice balls. Let’s jump right into the ingredients.


  • Approximately 2 cups of uncooked white rice (If you are using cooked white rice directly then 6 cups)
  • 8 Dried Plum (They are also called Umeboshi)
  • 8 Dried Seaweed (Also known as Nori)
  • Salt (As per taste)

You can see that so less amount of ingredients are required to make this tasty food. If the measurement taken is correct then there will be no problem in the taste of these rice balls.

Now, let us go through the directions to make Japanese rice balls. Get ready with a pen and a paper. Pay attention. Here we go!

Japanese Rice Balls Recipe

How to make Japanese rice balls: Cooking Directions

Here we are. Go through each and every step carefully to make some perfect rice balls.

1. Cook the white rice:

As mentioned in the recipe below you use the pre-cooked rice to make the balls or cook two cups of uncooked rice to make a new batch of rice balls. Your choice.

2. Cool the rice:

After the rice is cooked, do not start making the balls at that moment. Let the rice cool for some time so that you don’t burn your hands.

3. Wet and Salt:

Then wet your hands with a little bit of water. Add some salt to the rice as well before shaping them. This way the rice will not stick to your hand while making the balls.

4. Cut the Nori sheets:

Take a nori or seaweed paper and cut into 8 or 9 strips. This is for covering. You can cut the nori anyway you want.

5. Shape the rice:

Take a handful of rice and mold them into a circle or triangular shape.

6. Umeboshi:

Garnish some umeboshi on top of the rice or fill it in the rice.

7. Enjoy:

Wrap the balls in the nori strips and serve them warm before your family and enjoy.


I am sure you cannot wait to have the meal. Just do not forget to wet your hands with some water before making the balls. Enjoy the meal. Arigatogozaimashita!

Need to buy Japanese rice cooker? Check out our article Japanese rice cooker reviews! 

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