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Onigiri was a snack I always wanted to try out. These rice balls are a popular snack or lunch for people of all ages in Japan. At least in the Netherlands, there are only a limited number of stores and restaurants where you can try these snacks. I found a store in Amsterdam where they sell different kinds of onigiri. More fun is to make them yourself!

Unlike sushi rice, the rice for onigiri is not always seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar and salt. Some salt is often added while forming the onigiri.

For onigiri, you can use Japanese kewpie mayonnaise. It has a richer flavor than traditional mayonnaise. You could also use wasabi kewpie mayonnaise instead of Sriracha sauce.

Onigiri Tonijn

Tuna Onigiri


(for 4 onigiri)

  • 300 gram sushi rice
  • 440 ml water
  • 1 can of tuna (drained)
  • 2 tbsp kewpie mayonaise
  • 1 tl Sriracha
  • 1 spring onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 nori sheet
  • salt
  • Sesame seeds (optional)


Start by washing the sushi rice. To do this, add just enough water to submerge all the rice and stir through the rice with your fingers. Then pour off the water and repeat until the drained water is clear.

Bring to a boil with 440 ml of water, turn the heat down to low and cook with the lid on the pan for about 16 to 18 minutes or until the water is fully absorbed. Turn off the heat and gently loosen the rice with a wooden spoon. Place a clean kitchen towel over the pan, put the lid back on and let stand for 10 more minutes.

While the rice cools, you can proceed with the onigiri filling. To make this, mix the tuna with the mayonnaise, Sriracha, spring onion and some salt to taste.

To make the onigiri rice balls, it’s important that the rice is still somewhat warm so that it is sticky enough to form. Divide the rice into 4 equal parts. Wet your hands a little and sprinkle a little salt on your hands. Take one portion of rice in one hand and gently press it flat. Add a tablespoon of tuna filling and gently press the rice over the filling. Shape the rice ball into a triangular shape.

Optionally, sprinkle some sesame seeds and salt over the onigiri. Cut nori sheets as wide as the onigiri and wrap them around it. Spoon a small amount of filling on top.

Onigiri Tonijn