Holiday/ Lunch/ Picnic/ Vegetarian

Stuffed Rice Balls

Rice balls like this are called Onigiri and are traditional “kid-food” in Japan and Hawaii. They are often stuffed with umeboshi, which are salted preserved plums. Our mom’s family would sometimes substitute canned tuna for umeboshi.



  • Scissors
  • A small bowl of water
  • A fork

Stuffed Rice Balls

Print Recipe
Serves: 8


  • 4 cups left-over short-grained white rice (botchan)
  • 2 sheets of nori (sheets of sea weed for sushi)
  • 1 can of tuna - drained OR
  • 1 jar of umeboshi



If you are using umeboshi, start by pulling 4-6 plums out of the jar. Make sure they don't have any pits in them. If the plums have pits pull them out. Set the umeboshi aside for now.


Cut the nori into strips about 1 1/4 inches wide. Set them aside.


Next, wet your hands in the bowl of water. Wetting your palms will keep the rice from sticking to you and will also help the grains of rice stick together.


Take a handful of rice and make a patty by pressing it into the palm of one hand.


Put a little umeboshi or about a tablespoon of tuna in the center of the rice patty. Now grab another handful of rice and put it on top.


Start to work the rice into a ball like you would pack a snowball. Turn it as you press so that it is round on all sides. You can wet your hand again to help the rice stick.


Take a strip of nori and wrap it around the rice ball. A little water will help the nori stick to the ball. Press the nori down until it molds to the ball.


Put the ball on a dish with the ends of the nori facing down. The rice balls will look like they each have a stripe that goes all the way around.

Sharing is caring!

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply