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Basic Onigiri

Basic Onigiri

Recipe by Julia Sherman

4-6 servings

Basic Onigiri

From Julia Sherman's Arty Parties, adapted from Shin Okuda's recipe

3 cups sushi rice, cooked according to the package instructions

2 tbsps seasoned rice wine vinegar

1 package toasted nori sheets or (4) .17 oz packages of seasoned seaweed snacks

Toasted sesame seeds and/or black sesame seeds

1 can Fishwife smoked salmon

1 tsp Kewpie mayo

2 tbsps mixed black and white toasted sesame seeds

Soy sauce

Cook the rice according to the package instructions. Add the seasoned rice wine vinegar and mix, using a large wooden spoon or rice paddle. Cover and set aside.


If using sushi nori, wave each piece 6” above the gas burner on medium flame, moving constantly back and forth, careful not to burn. The seaweed should crisp up, without wrinkling or contracting out of shape.


To make the filling, combine ingredients in a small dish. Use a fork to mix, flaking the fish to create a paste. Use 1 teaspoon filling per rice ball. Finish by rolling in sesame seeds.


Cover the surface of a 6” plate with black and white sesame seeds. Prepare one small finger bowl of water per person.


Wet your hands before you make each ball so the rice doesn’t stick to your fingers. Take a small handful of rice and press it firmly into a ball between the palms of your hands. Make a deep indentation in the center of the ball and stuff the filling inside. Close up the hole by adding more rice and compressing and shaping into a flat sided triangle, a ball, or a log. Roll the finished onigiri in the sesame seeds.


Serve with sheets of toasted seaweed ripped in half or whole seaweed snacks, so people can wrap their own (like a taco) and dip in soy sauce.

Basic Onigiri


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