Sushi is one of the most popular foods not only in its native Japan but around the globe.  Changing the shape, of the traditional sushi and we get sushi balls or onigiri.  Now, the rice used for this type of sushi is just plain, white rice but can handle various kinds of fillings.  In Japan, they usually have onigiris during lunchtime or picnic as this can be prepared easily.


How to Make Sushi Balls
How to Make Sushi Balls


  • Sushi rice
  • White wine vinegar
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Salt, sesame seeds or furikake
  • Nori sheets
  • Fillings of choice (pickled plum, avocado, crab meat, tuna or salmon)



  • Bowl
  • Pot with lid
  • Saucepan
  • Spatula
  • Teacup
  • Plastic wrap



Rice Preparation

  1. Put the rice grains into a large bowl and fill the bowl with water. Rinse the rice for a total of five rinses, or until the water becomes to clear up.  This way, the cooked grains will become fluffy and light in texture.
  2. Put the rice into the pot and add water. Take note that the ratio of the rice against water is 1:1 cup.
  3. Boil the rice in high heat. When the steam comes out, open the lid and bring the flame into a medium flare then cook for about 10 minutes more.  After 10 minutes, lower the heat again and wait up to 10 minutes more then remove from stove.
  4. Let the rice cool down completely. Meanwhile, mix equal parts of rice vinegar, white wine vinegar and sugar in a saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar in every ¾ cup of vinegar blend.
  5. Heat the sugar and vinegar mixture and stir continuously until all the sugar granules dissolve.
  6. Drizzle half of the mixture on the rice and mix the rice using a spatula. Do the mixing in a slicing motion and taste. Now, the taste the rice and see if you reach desired flavor.


How to Make Sushi Balls (Onigiri)
How to Make Sushi Balls (Onigiri)


Shaping the Rice

  1. Get a small teacup (or bowl) and line it with a durable plastic wrap. Spray the plastic wrap with water and get out the excess.  Put flavored furikake seasoning mix, sesame seeds and a dash of salt.
  2. Scoop up rice into the cup barely filling up the whole cup. Poke your choice of filling inside the rice (it can be pickled plum, avocado, crab meat, tuna or salmon). Close the wrap around the rice tightly and twist to form a ball.
  3. Using both your hands, shape the rice into a traditional shape of an onigiri which is triangular with rounded sides. Form your hands in an “L” shape form press the rice until you reach the desired form.  Remember that the rice is still inside the plastic wrap.
  4. Get your onigiri off the wrap and place a strip of nori around it. Serve and enjoy with your friends or colleagues.