Japanese Onigiri (Rice Balls) — asian , healthy , onigiri , quick dinners , rice / grains , rice balls , vegetables — For Two, Please

October 30, 2009

Japanese Onigiri (Rice Balls)

Is it just me, or do most people feel the need to detox after traveling?? All that eating out (and of course, drinking) made both of us crave really simple, clean food again when we got back home.

If you're looking for something healthy -- but don't want to live on celery sticks and carrots for the rest of your life, Japanese food is one of the cleanest and healthiest cuisines out there. With very little oil or fat in it, it basically consists of rice, vegetables, and fish. No wonder why the Japanese are so darn skinny! :P

While we didn't have any fish on hand, we definitely had rice (a staple in our home!) and pickled vegetables. I love anything pickled...especially Japanese pickles and Korean kimchee. Slightly salty and sour, their acidity pairs perfectly with a bowl of plain white rice.

Rice balls always remind me of Hawaii, where along with spam musubi (mmmmmm), they're sold at every grocery store, gas station, and Seven Eleven on the island. Maybe it was the cold Chicago weather that made me nostalgic for Hawaii, because I suddenly wanted -- no needed -- rice balls in order to get my diet back on track. Simple, clean, and full of vegetables (well...pickled seaweed and cucumber vegetables that is!), it was the perfect "welcome home" comfort food that we were so desperately craving.

Japanese Onigiri (Rice Balls)
Recipe by SC

Dried nori (seaweed)
Picked vegetables or fish

Add furikake to hot rice until thoroughly mixed. Using hands or rice mold, shape the rice mixture into a triangular or oval shaped ball. Stick your thumb in the middle to create a hole, and add desired filling into that space. Top with a little more rice, and wrap with nori.


  1. I think it is normal to feel the need to detox after a trip... it is so easy to indulge on a trip!

    Your rice balls sound delicious :)

  2. I always feel the need to detox after a trip! These rice balls look perfect! Simple and healthy. I just love Japanese food! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I tried to make this a few months ago after eating it at a restaurant. I brushed soy sauce on the outside part of the rice and fried it to make it crispy. yours looks much better!.. i wasn't sure what to put in the inside.

  4. Nice recipe:D Shall try it one dayyy^^


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