Onigiri Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content


Onigiri—small, filled rice balls or triangles—are a popular snack and bento box staple in Japan. Here, they’re made with cooled sushi rice and decorated with scissor-cut nori shapes. Extras can be saved for lunch boxes the next day. If your kids are open to something salty and tart, add three pickled umeboshi plums (pitted and halved) to the mix. They’re a traditional onigiri filling that Japanese kids love.



Ingredient Line: 
1 cup sushi rice
Ingredient Line: 
2 Tbs. unseasoned rice vinegar
Ingredient Line: 
1 Tbs. sugar
Ingredient Line: 
1 tsp. salt
Ingredient Line: 
3–4 sheets nori
Ingredient Line: 
3–4 ears canned baby corn, drained and cut into ½-inch-thick pieces, or ¼ cup corn kernels
Ingredient Line: 
½ avocado, diced
Ingredient Line: 
12 shelled edamame beans


1. Rinse and drain rice several times until water runs clear. Place in saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 12 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, and let stand 1 minute.

2. Whisk together rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in bowl. Add hot rice to bowl, and mix with spatula until rice has absorbed vinegar mixture. Spread on baking sheet, and let cool 5 minutes.

3. Cut nori into eyes, noses, arms, ears, hair, whiskers, hats, etc., with scissors.

4. Place square of plastic wrap over 1/2 cup ramekin or small bowl. Scoop 1/4 cup rice into center of plastic wrap. Press indentation in center with thumb, and fill indentation with baby corn piece, avocado cube, and 2 edamame beans. Cover with small plug of rice, and pull up sides of plastic wrap. Twist and squeeze plastic wrap around rice to make tight, smooth ball of rice around filling. Unwrap plastic wrap, and transfer onigiri to plate. Repeat with remaining ingredients. 5. Decorate onigiri with nori, using drops of water as glue, if necessary.

Nutrition Information: 

3 g
Total Fat: 
2 g
Saturated Fat: 
<1 g
35 g
0 mg
444 mg
2 g
2 g
Makes 6 onigiri

Comments on this Recipe

I made the Onigiri with my grandchildren and we had so much fun decorating them and eating them. This was a very creative, edible project!