How to eat onigiri

How to Eat Onigiri: Recipes, Benefits & More!

Japanese mostly use onigiri as their snacks; you can eat onigiri like a sandwich. If you visit Japan, make sure you visit the nearest novelty shop or a supermarket to get yourself some. It is not hard to get onigiri while in Japan, you will rarely miss coming across onigiri in the supermarkets or the shops. Don’t be surprised to see different shapes of onigiri; they all have the same taste and ingredients, but most are triangular rice balls.

For the first time, you may ask yourself many questions about the delicious Japanese onigiri snacks.  You may admire to know how to eat onigiri, how to make onigiri, or how it tastes like? Don’t worry; this article will feed you with all the correct facts and answers about onigiri.

How to make onigiri

You can make onigiri from sticky white rice. After making it, you pack it into different shapes and sizes in plastic wrap. To eat a packed onigiri, you must follow specific procedures for you to enjoy it. First,  tear the central lining away in a plastic wrap; then, you must pull out the packing material to get nori wrapped rice ball. Then enjoy eating your onigiri, don’t wait for instructions. How does onigiri taste like? Avoid hearsay and memes about onigiri tastes; you are free to add any other sauce if you wish.

You can also make your onigiri right at home because it is simple to prepare. Follow a few steps to cook given all the necessary ingredients are available. Also, you can add your homemade onigiri to your favorite onigiri recipe.

You may be asking yourself whether all onigiri have fillings, but to clear the air on this; not all onigiri have fillings. For example, a grilled rice ball based on soy sauce and grill does not have fillings. Onigiri has a savory taste you will love. You will easily find Japanese onigiri in supermarkets and shops, while some people there prepare theirs at home. Some shops have started selling fresh onigiri because the demand is growing. 

More often than not, you will find Japanese rice balls with savory onigiri fillings and seaweed, tarako, or salmon for a definite flavor; the rice balls are covered with a black strip of edible seaweed.

How to open a rice ball

First, ensure that the rice ball faces in your direction, mark the top side 1; hold the tip between your hand, the thumb, and the finger. Pull downwards to the bottom, pull the remaining material towards the parts marked 2 and 3 to the right side respectively, and do it carefully towards their corners too. When done with opening your rice ball, enjoy eating it. If it is your first time eating onigiri, you should wait a few minutes because it is crispy.

You will find different varieties of onigiri in shops and supermarkets. Rice balls are made with steamed rice and red adzuki beans or red rice variety seasoned with meat or vegetables; don’t get worried about this. Select any combination of your choice, and open following the same procedures mentioned earlier. 

There are different types of onigiri available; they differ from how we make them, so choose accordingly.

How to prepare homemade onigiri

Onigiri is a Japanese staple food; it is a steamed white rice ball with some other onigiri recipes. Cover your onigiri when ready, totally or partially with seaweed. It is appropriate to have an onigiri recipe at hand when preparing at home. To start the process, ensure you have the following ingredients; a bowl of cold water, salt, steamed white rice, stuffings, and seaweed.

First, you need to cook white rice using a rice cooker. Ensure they cook appropriately, test with your bare hands, wet with cold water, add some salt, and make sure all salt dissolves to know they are well-cooked. Take one size of your choice and spread in your hand, add fillings at the center of your rice and turn it into a ball shape again. When fillings stop overflowing, squeeze with both hands to make it compact, and to avoid losing the grains, wrap them with seaweed.

What are the benefits of eating onigiri?

  • Eating onigiri helps your body in the supply of vitamin C, known to improve the body’s immune system against chronic diseases and other infections.
  • Compounds present in seaweed may reduce diabetic factors such as; high-fat level, insulin sensitivity, and inflammation.
  • It contains potassium mineral, which helps lower blood pressure by relaxing the muscles. Sodium helps maintain the bones and muscles’ health.
  • Seaweed contains vitamin K, which protects against arterial blood clothing; the presence of keratin makes your hair shiny and healthy.

Why you should not eat onigiri

  • White rice is known to have low sodium and fiber, and it contains omega-six fatty acids, a pro-inflammatory.
  • For the first time, if you eat onigiri in large quantities, it will lead to rapid growth. If you eat onigiri extensively, it will lead to obesity, plus, it raises blood sugar level, leading to diabetes. It may also lead to kidney failure, blindness, or stroke.
  • When you eat white rice balls rich in starch, your digestive system might find it hard to digest.


So, you now know how to eat onigiri. it is a staple food for the Japanese, either homemade or bought from the shops or supermarkets. You will discover onigiri comes in different types, and they have different shapes and sizes too. When making an onigiri, cover it with seaweed.

To eat onigiri, follow the procedures given to open onigiri. Remove the white strip by pulling it downwards from the part labeled one and pull the parts labeled 2 and 3 of the remaining materials towards both corners. You will remain with seaweed, which is edible, and the white rice ball when all is done.

Eating white rice balls presents many health benefits because it contains plenty of nutrients, including vitamin C that improves the immune system of the body against certain infections.

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