Introduction: How to Make an Onigiri (rice Ball)

Picture of How to Make an Onigiri (rice Ball)

Onigiri, also known as rice ball, is made with white rice that is usually formed into a triangular or circular/oval shape wrapped with a strip of nori (edible seaweed). Some traditional fillings for onigiri include pickled vegetables or fruit (plum), fish (salmon, tuna), seafood, and any other salty or sour preservatives. But you can always add whatever ingredients you like for the fillings. To make a triangular onigiri, it is done by shaping it into a triangle by hand. It may be a bit messy and may take a while to form the perfect triangle. So this instructable shows a clean, quick, and easy way to make a triangular onigiri using a plastic bag.

Step 1: Cut Out Plastic Bag’s Edge

Picture of Cut Out Plastic Bag’s Edge

First, take a clean plastic bag and cut off an edge of the bag so it becomes a triangle. The measurements for mine are about 7 inches X 10 inches X 7 inches. It's also great to use an empty chip bag but it's easier to see what you are doing with a clear plastic bag or Ziploc bag.

Step 2: Rice

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Fill about half or 2/3 of the rice you want to use in the plastic bag. Press it down a bit so the rice fills the corner of the bag.

Step 3: Fillings

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Add in the fillings you want. I used some dried shredded fish and furikake (a Japanese condiment). You may want to bury the fillings in between the grains so that the ingredients are stuck well in the rice.

Step 4: Covering Fillings

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Cover the fillings with a bit more rice, however much you want.

Step 5: Forming the Triangle

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Press on all sides to make a triangle. Make sure it's pressed well so that it won't fall apart when you take the plastic bag off.

Step 6: Add Nori

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Take off the plastic bag and wrap a strip of nori/seaweed on the bottom to finish off.

Step 7: Final

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And you are done! Serve on a plate or wrap it in plastic wrap for lunch packing or storage.


happyjo (author)2011-01-17

I was happy to see this because I just read the part in "Fruits Basket" where they are going to sell some onigiri!

KarenM122 (author)happyjo2016-04-10

I just watched that That's why I was so gung-ho to learn the proper way to make it. The other places that sell nori are natural markets or health food stores.

GinaGomeara made it! (author)2015-03-30

素晴らしい!!!一番好きな食べ物はおにぎりですから、おにぎりを作りたいです   <3

Mizu-chan (author)2014-04-03

Kyaa~! It Look's so good!! Can't wait to make it! Arigatou Gozaimasu!!!

arirang777 (author)2009-06-16

Ooishiso!! Arigato Godaimas halume san

t3hj4p (author)arirang7772009-06-17

oishiisou* arigatou* gozaimasu*

t3hj4p (author)t3hj4p2009-06-17

er my bad oishisou*

richdoe (author)t3hj4p2009-06-18

for those that don't have any understanding of Japanese, I think the comment translates to "thank you"

arirang777 (author)richdoe2009-06-18

Yes, indeed. I was trying to say: -"Looks delicious!! thank you very much Mr. Robo... er, halume"- in an odd language similar to Japanese ;-) (I stand corrected, thank you t3hj4p). Is the non-capitalization of names intentional? I feel weird writing them all in lower case.

gomibakou (author)arirang7772013-08-11

"oishii you" is ok (and it's not the english 'you').

I wonder if the site supports hiragana/kanji encoding... he he.

t3hj4p (author)arirang7772009-06-18

um... i would think online it would be fine to just use the username in its cap/non as is :P and there really isnt a thing such as capitalization in japanese :T its just romanization of the phonics of speaking so it doesnt even matter :D for instance "konnichiha" is hello/good afternoon and because its romanized it doesnt matter if its KoNNiChiHa or KonnichiHa or Konnichiha or even konnichiha because they all would be opinionated as correct by any certain group of people all in all as long as the romanized form is correct in spelling its fine lol

caelenvasius (author)t3hj4p2009-06-27

"good afternoon/hello" is pronounced "ko-n-ni-chi-wa"..."konnichiha" will just get you laughed at by japanese speakers...BTW, watashi no senmon ga eigo to nihongo desu, soshite nihongo wo jouzo hanashimasu. Demo, watashi wa Amerika-jin desu. You can say "This looks delicious" by saying "Kore oishii miteiru!", which literally means "This is looking delicious".

t3hj4p (author)caelenvasius2009-06-28

slightly wrong, my friend. the true romanization of the pronunciation of "konnichiwa" is actually using ha and not wa, because you "spell" it with ha. dont mix up romanization with pronunciation please. and to add "kore oishii miteiru" directly translates to "this delicious looks is" yay for typos! "jouzo"? xD

caelenvasius (author)t3hj4p2009-06-30

Japanese is both written and spoken phonetically. All three types of Romanization (romaji) are attempts to write in english characters the sounds of japanese...technically, romaji IS pronunciation. The issue that most learners of japanese have when learning the language is that the japanese characters do not "mean" something in english, they are their own language, and thus to be taken separate from the english language.

t3hj4p (author)caelenvasius2009-06-30

it was a type of... chore to read all of your comments.
and my comment on "jouzo" was that it should be "jouzu".
that said i would like to say that your "senmon" is probably not japanese...
and neither is mine by any sight because i know probably only 1/4 of what i should know by now. (major need to catch up on kanji -_-;;;)
but at least i dont brag about it.
and of course capitalizing names is important, but on the internet that should not matter unless you are actually using the name of a user and not the user defined alias, such as my t3hj4p; can be capitalized or left as is.
and as you have said before it is totally unnecessary to do everything to optimize the language, so therefore i do not capitalize and punctuate everything as i should.
and the basics of romanization is to point out that yes the pronunciation is like so-and-so; it is also used in place of actual japanese words in english context because people would probably know "mori" over the kanji with meaning of "forest".
people from different countries also translate things so that they can be understood by learners, no? that is why we can directly translate "mori" to "forest" without trouble: it is fundamentally the same thing in nature, so it is fine to do so.
though when paired with other kanji and hiragana does mean something entirely different, and that is where rough translation comes in.
also i was joking with the whole direct translation thing dude. xD
and direct translation is where you include everything you can... so "watashi ha kissaten ni ikimasu" translates directly to "me (or i) is coffee shop to going" and is not necessarily wrong, because it is translation, yet it is more correct to translate it into "i am going to the coffee shop" because that is what it means.
and to say "redundant, obtuse, and inefficient" you are redundantly using redundancy to redundantly say something redundant. :D
and i know what is up with japanese, bro. i am japanese. my parents have been speaking it around me so i know the gist3.
the only problem is i have only started learning at high school, and this year ive graduated and have to tell you i have only learned hiragana and katakana. all else i just kinda picked up from dictionaries and stuff... but yeah.
4649 :D

caelenvasius (author)t3hj4p2009-07-02

To list them fully, my current majors at UCI are Japanese Language and Literature, B.A., and Comparative Linguistics, B.A. I have been learning that japanese language for almost three years now, and at UCI I have a veritable flood of native speakers I talk to on a daily basis.

The mentioning of my 'senmon' was to offer a semblance of truth to my statements, as it is expected that one with my experiecne would know what they were talking about.

Your continued use of 'ha' instead of 'wa' is aggregiously incorrect. One does not say 'watashi ha', so there is no reason why it would be written that way. You yourself has stated that you don't know much at all, infact the vast majority of your fluency is in speaking only, which does not lend itself well to the correct usage of the written characters. My earlier statement concerning beginners of the written language still stands, in that you are continuously confusing pronunciation with spelling, despite your insistence otherwise. In the case of romaji, they are one and the same. One cannot spell it 'ha' and say 'wa', that is not the correct particle. To think so otherwise is erroneous.

caelenvasius (author)t3hj4p2009-06-30

Also, to comment on your usage of seemingly random capitalizations to explain the lack of capitalizations is inadequate and misleading. In pronunciation guides, capital letters denote stressed and unstressed syllables. On the note of capitalizing japanese names when writing them in english, it IS appropriate..."Michiko" is still a proper name, no matter its origin language, and therefor deserves the same grammar rule attention as any other proper noun.

caelenvasius (author)t3hj4p2009-06-30

And finally, "jouzo ja ..." is referring to one's skill in something. Saying "jouzo ja arimasen" is like saying "im not skilled". As is common in your average japanese statement outside of the classroom, it is acceptable to drop particles when the gist of the phrase is understood. To use every particle every time it is "necessary" would be redundant, obtuse, and in the end, inefficient. It is natural to have evolved this techniquie, and it functions in the same way as dropping the subject and the object when they are understood by the listener.

caelenvasius (author)t3hj4p2009-06-30

Furthermore, due to the dramatically different grammar structures present when comparing english to japanese, your second point is arguing semantics. A true translation would take the appropriate meaning in the original language and give a statement the the same meaning in the secondary. Saying that "watashiwa wa kissaten ni ikimasu" means "I cafe going" (which is its literal translation is wrong, because you're missing the point of the sentence completely.

arirang777 (author)t3hj4p2009-06-19

Thanks for the reply, t3hj4p. I should have been more specific in my question: I meant OUR names. If you see, every username in here is missing the capitalization in their initial character. Anywhere else you have to capitalize the first letter of own names like in Rob, Bob, France, Lou, Trix, Coca-Cola, Yuki, etc. I feel strange typing t3hj4p instead of T3hj4p. qs instead of Qs. arirang777 instead of Arirang777. halume instead of Halume and the alike... Matane!

t3hj4p (author)arirang7772009-06-19

ah but its the internets where freedom of speech is stretched waaaaaaaaaay too much. its kinda nice but at the same time is extremely stressful dealing with the people who type every single thing LiKe ThIs!!!!!!! and the like :T ha ha

caelenvasius (author)t3hj4p2009-06-30

The phrase "Freedom of Speech" has absolutely nothing to do with the lax attention internet people place on grammar/punctuation/spelling/etc. "Freedom of Speech" is referring to the Bill of Rights, which is not a guide to correct use of the written form of the english language. Truth be told, in a situation such as this message board, it is not necessary to follow 100% of the rules. Those who make the point are just trolling.

arirang777 (author)t3hj4p2009-06-20

You have a good point. In the other hand grammar rules should not be brushed off under the carpet. Now that you mention it, I have SeEn ThIs KiNd Of tYpInG, and honestly i think it sucks!! Totally agree with you, it is extremely stressful to try to read it. Imaging all the waste of effort in typing like that? Either they are morons or I am just a grumpy old fella. I am hungry, let's get some of this oishi onigiri. Gambate!

koyaniskatzy (author)arirang7772009-06-23

pardon the interruption... but Miyazaki fans could not and should not consider themselves "grumpy old fellows", no matter how normal the rest of the world is.

t3hj4p (author)koyaniskatzy2009-06-23

btw not really a miyazaki fan... i actually favor many more things than those :P im actually japanese so i basically know what im saying most of the time :T

avwos (author)arirang7772009-06-20

I'm so FAT!!! *runs off to cry*

sumbrero (author)2009-09-15

do u have 2 use a special type of rice

gomibakou (author)sumbrero2013-08-11

Well although there is a kind of rice for onigiri, you really don't need it. The best rice in substitution, as far as my japanese friends said, is the japonica variety (furthermore quite common). It's slightly rounded short grain and very common and a cheap variety being one of the most produced on the world. But the key is buying a good brand, and it's not so easy, because the brand name doesn't mean it's good. You have to test some of them. You'll have to test some of them: expensive doesn't mean good quality.
This variety also is quite used for paellas (spanish meal), where the difference is the cooking process.

Also the cooking of the rice is extremately important. Anyway if you never tasted real japanese onigiri, you won't notice the difference, so don't worry about getting the perfect rice. Japonica variety ( and japanese cooking (wash, wash, wash!) are the keys.

Keep in mind that japanese people don't use different rices in their houses, just one or perhaps 2 varieties. Restaurants use more, but you don't need them really.
Of course you can buy whatever you want, but onigiri is a cheap product (about $1 in convenience stores -i don't remember the exact prices so be gentle if i'm wrong-), and it should keep alike.

Flippymar (author)sumbrero2009-09-19

I usually use jasmine short grain rice, which can be found in any grocery store now. You could use sushi rice but its a little bit more expensive.

airecrist (author)Flippymar2009-09-27

any sticky rice would work fine i imagine

natra (author)airecrist2010-01-06

you dont need sticky rice and jasmine isent really a good rice to use , salt keeps onigiri together and white rice is the best to use

Wascopirate (author)natra2011-09-30

you do need the rice to be sticky, try calrose short grained, or another short grained japanese rice. salt does not make it stick, it is use to preserve the freshness and make it taste better. please chect out my onigiri instructable.

gomibakou (author)2013-08-11

ooooh i bought some special items to make Onigiri, but this idea is really nice and handy.
Nori is quite common now and can be found easily in many supermarkets (carrfour has it for example in different countries), not only asiatic.

Nekolove02 (author)2013-08-11

Oooo Thanks For Putting This. I'm gonna make it soon ^_^

fmalover (author)2012-07-06

where do you get the nori

halume (author)fmalover2012-07-06

You can find it in almost any local asian supermarket.

fmalover (author)2012-07-06

where did you get the nori

rcteddy99 (author)2010-07-10

I noticed that there is no Step 6.

monsterpie (author)2009-06-18

its good but i was always brang up with equilateral triangles

Punkguyta (author)monsterpie2009-06-18

Brang lol

monsterpie (author)Punkguyta2010-02-28

i is ingerish no good

deathbbird (author)2009-11-11
Same things they ate in POKEMON!!

And Fruit's Basket too!

its a traditional Japanese food its in almost every anime ive seen

ryoko1011 (author)2009-09-21

yay!! I've always wanted to know how to make these after seeing them in anime's/manga's now I can eat them to!!!! yay! Your awesome!

bogosavljev (author)2009-06-28

It looks good.

Scottishsamurai_545 (author)2009-06-27

Oishii! Onigiri is one of my favourite foods, but I rarely get to have any these days, and I could never figure out an easy way to make the shapes. Your Instructable made it so easy! Thank you!

Kryptonite (author)2009-06-25

*screams* OH MY GOD I LOVE ONIGIRI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you, looks great! I want to try this some time!

koyaniskatzy (author)2009-06-23

these ones remind me of a show I watched as a kid with only 2 characters (and forgive my spelling): Nopo & Gonta. One of them made the cuttest crafts, and Onigiri was shown on an episode where they made puppet crabs. Gonta was like the mascot of the show. Anyone knows anything about it?

special_friend (author)2009-06-22

i wanted to make one of these since i saw it on Fruits Basket ( for those who don't know its, an awesome manga with these really good looking characters)! I tried by myself but it would always turn out horrible. One day, the lightbulb on my head lit up, for ceiling cat came to me and told me to look on the internet. Thank you for this intractable!!

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