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Goin’ Japanesque!

4 Onigiri Tips! From Onigiri Fundamentals to Regional Specials and the Newest Kinds!!

Onigiri (Japanese rice balls) are booming everywhere in the world! But what do you know about onigiri aside from them tasting good? Today we have for you detailed information on onigiri + the “new” onigiri in Japan right now!


Fundamental Knowledge


“Onigiri” are also called “omusubi.” There’s slight differences in usage but they’re practically synonyms in Japan.

Why are they triangles?

Triangle onigiri are easier to eat and don’t fall apart as easy as round ones. Also, in the past onigiri was food you brought with you and the triangle was easier to pack away without wasting space than a circle.


Tips for Picking Onigiri

The thing to look at beyond the ingredients in the nori (seaweed). Convenience store onigiri like the triangle ones on the top shelf you wrap yourself. On the other hand, the ones on the lower shelf have already been wrapped.

Tip 1
Triangle → The nori is crispy
Circle → The nori is soft

Keep this in mind to suit your tastes because there’s a difference!

Here’s an article on Bento: – Delicious Bento Tips from Japanese Connoisseurs – Don’t Settle for Conbini!


Summer Onigiri


Tip 2
If you make onigiri yourself in the summer then you should put in ingredients that have a sterilizing effect. Since ancient times, we in Japan have assigned that role to the umeboshi (pickled plum). For example, when kids go on outings in the summer their mothers will definitely use umeboshi.
Also, when you’re making them, you should wear plastic gloves in the summer—not just bare hands. Onigiri made by bare hands will spoil quicker than rice carried in a bento.

Here’s an article about Summer: 7 Japanese Foods Associated with the Coming of Summer + 11 Helpful Tips


Onigiri Across the Nation

1. Miso-yaki (Baked with Miso) Onigiri: Benkei-meshi

Yamagata Prefecture


Spread on miso paste and bake. Add a shiso leaf for a “stamina onigiri.”

2. Kashiwa Onigiri

Fukuoka Prefecture

Chicken, carrots, burdock root, and other ingredients are tightly packed together. In Japan it’s common to have this as a set together with udon.

3. Temmusu Onigiri

Mie Prefecture

Lol A whole shrimp tempura! The best combo of tempura and onigiri. Savor Japan!

4. Katsuo-meshi (Rice with Skipjack Tuna) Onigiri

Kochi Prefecture

A hearty combination of katsuo soaked in ginger soy sauce! Best with big pieces

5. Wakame (Seaweed) Onigiri

Yamaguchi Prefecture

A hearty covering of dried wakame. You can really taste the ocean!



And here’s the latest news! The evolution of onigiri is spreading in Japan. (Or has it already?) It’s not onigiri—it’s onigirazu! Lol As the name implies, these are onigiri you don’t mold together and the best part is…

Onigirazu: “Zu – ず” = Not

Tip 3
You don’t get your hands dirty when making them
As is stated above, these are more sanitary

And one more with Tip 4…

Pretty! This is onigirazu. It looks like a sandwich, and very good-looking.

How to make


Put your rice and ingredients on a big slice of nori…

Tip 4
You can put even more in the bit you don’t fold!

Wrap it up…

And then cut with a knife! The perfect onigirazu!

Now I really wanna eat onigiri… lol

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