Onigiri: Japanese Rice Snacks

Onigiri, or nigirimeshi, is simply a ball of rice with a salty filling such as tuna or salmon, then wrapped in nori. Nori, also known as seaweed, adds a great crunch while being a non sticky place to hold onto the delicious snack.


Onigiri date back to the 11th century, and have been a staple in Japanese cuisine, even serving as a pick me up for samurai. Before chopsticks were widely used, rice was rolled into balls for easy consumption, so this is one Japanese snack with a lot of history.

Where to Find Them

When in Japan, most convenience stores carried a variation of flavors; my favorite is tuna, hands down! But I’ve also found them at authentic Asian restaurants in the states (Hajime in Atlanta has them on their menu).

Make Em’

When all else fails, make your own! While I am not the best at achieving that perfect triangle, I’ve found it reasonably easy to mold sticky rice around a tuna center, adding a strip of crispy seaweed around the outside.

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