Onigiri triangle

Japanese Onigiri Rice Ball : A Guide On Why Is Onigiri A Triangle?

The majority of Japanese supermarkets and convenience stores carry onigiri on their shelves. Onigiri is a triangle-shaped rice ball with various fillings encased in a nori seaweed wrapper. They are a quick and simple snack consumed in Japan at picnics, hiking excursions, or as a lunchbox for work or school. These compact rice balls come in various flavors, are simple to pack in a backpack or bento box, and make a practical and filling snack for school lunches. They have been compared to the Japanese version of a hotdog or sandwich since they are compact, transportable, and commonly available.

This famous Japanese dish is versatile as a snack or lunchbox item because it may be eaten cold or pan-fried, with or without toppings. Onigiri can be produced in various shapes, but the triangle version is often the most popular. This is all you need to know about onigiri, including popular and rare fillings and styles, so you can make an informed decision the next time you cry in front of the konbini's rice ball area.

What is onigiri?

Japanese short grain rice is shaped into a triangle and wrapped in dried seaweed to create onigiri, a traditional Japanese rice ball. You can serve your rice plain or with a filling or garnish. A traditional Japanese dish that is enjoyed all around the nation is onigiri. The word "rice ball" is widely used in English because the cooked rice is shaped by being pressed together to create a ball-like shape. Omusubi and nigirimeshi are some other names, although they all refer to the same thing. Your gender and where you are in Japan are the only things that set you apart.

Add sesame seeds or salt to basic white rice to give an onigiri taste. Yet, various fillings are available, each with a unique flavor profile. The contents of an onigiri can be placed wherever within the rice: in the middle, on top, all over, or even on the exterior.

Triangle sushi fillings include pickled plum, salted salmon, tuna in mayonnaise, kombu, and dried fish with soy sauce. Triangle sushi is made entirely of rice and seaweed in its purest form. Nevertheless, fillings such as fried egg, fish, tofu, beans, fruit, red beans or vegetables are permitted.


What is the story behind onigiri?

During the Kamakura era, the first filling was applied to onigiri around 1221. The initial onigiri filling was umeboshi, or salted (pickled) plum. Because umeboshi has a high nutritional value and helps prevent food poisoning, the military distributed it to their fighters in the shape of onigiri, which became deeply engrained in Japanese culinary tradition.

Seaweed wrapped around onigiri in the Kansai region (which encompasses Kyoto and Osaka) is typically flavored in terms of history and culture. Onigiri has long been a practical travel food, but the taste and aroma of the seaweed (an important feature of Japanese culinary enjoyment) lasted only a short time.

A firm in Nihonbashi, therefore, developed flavored seaweed a year after the Meiji Restoration, when the Emperor and capital were moved to Tokyo so that tourists visiting Kyoto's historic capital might enjoy their bento.

In 1978, the seaweed that encircled the onigiri started to get crisp. Onigiri has become a standard item in all convenience stores until now because Seven-Eleven created a unique film that prevents seaweed from becoming moistened before consumption.

Onigiri wrapped in nori seaweed sheet | Traditional triangle shape sushi rice--- yayoi period & heian period

Why are onigiri shaped like a triangle?

Onigiri can be created in many shapes, but the triangular is one of the oldest and most popular today. People previously believed that the apex of a triangle was auspicious because it resembled a mountain where gods resided, according to a fascinating hypothesis about the origin of triangular onigiri. As a result, triangle-shaped onigiri became popular as a good luck charm.

Other spherical shapes are not triangular that can be found. The oval shape is ideal for eating out of and storing in bento boxes similar to those used to view Kabuki theater. Due to its ease of production, the ball type is widespread across Japan, while the thin disc shapes are popular as yaki onigiri (grilled onigiri) in northern Japan.

Furikake rice seasoning rice balls--- seventeenth century onigiri

What is the cultural significance of onigiri?

Onigiri is easy to make and comes in various fillings, making them appropriate for young children. Although it is a common lunch that most Japanese people do not find unusual, there is certainly something special about it.

Onigiri is a great option when you're in a hurry or need a snack. Onigiri is popular all around the world. It is enjoyed by all ages and is a great replacement and portion size for the elderly if you reduce the harsh ingredients and serve with less rice.

Vegans, vegetarians, and those who avoid seafood or have dietary allergies also enjoy eating onigiri. Unless you don't like rice, you have to choose your filling, and you may even eat it without the seaweed. This will fulfill your hunger.

Healthy Onigiri (Japanese rice triangle balls) Recipe | seasoned kombu


    The basic pairing of tuna and mayonnaise is delicious. This onigiri has been voted the best in the category! One of the most popular fillings is tuna mayo. Tuna from a can is combined with mayonnaise. Despite their simplicity, the flavors beautifully complement the seaweed and plain rice. It's also simple to construct, the ingredients are easy to come by, and it's ideal for a child's lunchbox.

    Another onigiri filling made from spiced "katsuoboshi" is okaka (bonito flakes). In Japanese cooking, katsuobushi (bonito flakes), which have an umami flavor, makes dashi stock. This onigiri is speedy, simple, and wholesome. Fish fillets smoked, and fermented are known as bonito flakes or okaka. This mouthwatering, common ingredient gives sauces and rice balls a surge of umami flavor.

    The Japanese term for pickled mustard green is takana-zuke. It is crunchy, salty, and delectable. It's not just for onigiri; fried rice and spaghetti are delicious dishes to add to! Naturally, mustard greens taste a little peppery. When soy sauce is pickled, these pickled greens create a fantastic plant-based stuffing for Japanese rice balls.

    Because of the rice, Sekihan differs somewhat from other onigiris. In Japan, a unique type of rice is utilized for this. Onigiri is frequently made with Japanese short-grain rice or sushi rice. In contrast, sekihan is produced from azuki beans and glutinous rice. Sekihan rice is popular in Japan and is commonly used to make onigiri.

    Onigiri frequently contains the umeboshi (pickled plum), a popular and common component. When purchasing onigiri in Japan, you'll see this everywhere. The acidic, slightly sour plum gives the bland white rice a taste boost. You can manufacture your umeboshi if you can't find any nearby. Umeboshi, a pickled salty and tart plum, goes well with plain Japanese rice.

    Tenmusu will likely be a fan favorite. You can't go wrong with shrimp tempura in a sweet sauce coated in rice. It tastes great and is a great meal for a picnic or lunch.

    Salmon is the second most popular onigiri filling, and it is also highly popular. Salmon is one of the best and most popular onigiri fillings. Salted salmon tastes better and has more flavor.

    Here's another recipe for grilled onigiri! Yaki onigiri is grilled with soy sauce for a delicious, crispy texture. The onigiri is elevated despite its simplicity and ease of preparation. Soy sauce and rice should be mixed. After adding the cheese, form the mixture into a triangle.




  • nori seaweed sheet

  • kosher salt

  • cooked japanese short grain rice

  • sesame seeds or furikake rice seasoning

  • optional fillings


  1. In a medium-sized mixing basin, combine the rice with the cold water and mix with your fingers until the water becomes murky.

  2. Repeat this method about five more times to keep the water clear. Filter away the murky water each time.

  3. After 30 minutes, cover the rice with fresh water and soak it for 30 minutes.

  4. After soaking, rinse the rice and place it in a skillet with 1.5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.

  5. Meanwhile, season the salmon with salt and use a fork to compress it to produce the filling.

  6. Cover the rice from the heat to allow it to steam. Wet your hands and form a bunch of rice into a sphere when it's cool enough to handle.

  7. Make a dip in the center and place 1-2 teaspoons of the salmon in it.

  8. Cover the filling with the rice and press firmly into a triangular form. The rice will get too sticky if you press it too hard.

  9. Wrap a strand of seaweed around the base. Sprinkle with sesame seeds on top.

  10. Enjoy!

    Best Onigiri Recipe - How To Make Onigiri At Home


How long do rice balls last?

If you aren't eating the onigiri immediately, please wrap it in plastic because the surface will dry. A half-day at room temperature is fine, but if you need to store them longer, put them in the refrigerator or freezer. After a few days in the refrigerator, freeze for up to a month. Wrap each rice ball in wax paper or plastic to prevent them from becoming soggy. Store the nori separately and wrap it around the onigiri immediately before eating.

Do I need to refrigerate my onigiri rice balls?

The chilly air encourages the rice to dry and firm, making it ideal for fried rice. Onigiri should not be created ahead of time. If you must, wrap the onigiri in heavy kitchen towels and place it in the refrigerator. Onigiri will stay nice and warm without becoming too cold. Onigiri can be kept at room temperature or slightly warm for up to six hours if kept out of the refrigerator (8 hours if stuffed with umeboshi, a natural preservative). This is due to the salt in the rice.

How is onigiri eaten? hot?cold?

Like sandwiches, onigiri is consumed by picking one up and eating it. While eating onigiri for the first time, be aware that the nori is extremely crispy and can spill if consumed too rapidly. The adhesion of the seaweed to the rice is aided by waiting a little while before eating, making it simpler and less messy to eat. Although it can be swiftly grilled and served hot, onigiri is often eaten cold or at room temperature (known as yaki onigiri).

Why is it called onigiri?

Onigiri is a hand-formed rice ball that gets its name from the Japanese verb nigiru, which means "to grip" or "to squeeze." "onigiri" is derived from the term "nigirimeshi," another snack name.

Experiences by Japan Crate : Onigiri Experience Set

These compact rice balls come in various flavors, are simple to pack in a backpack or bento box, and make a practical and filling snack. Rice wrapped in nori seaweed shaped like a triangle is a delicious and easy recipe. Wrap Japanese onigiri in nori sheets or individually packaged onigiri sheet wrappers to preserve the seaweed crisp and fresh. Fill them with a variety of delicious fillings. Make your practical snack at home with our Onigiri Experience Set, which includes instant rice, seaweed wrap, rice mold, furikake seasoning, filling, and a condiment.

Experiences by Japan Crate : Onigiri Experience Set


Onigiri rice balls is best eaten immediately after it has been cooked. Many onigiris are wrapped in a dried nori seaweed sheet, which gives them a delightful crunch when you bite into them. If you want to keep it, roll the nori right before serving time and wrap the triangle-shaped rice in plastic wrap. Some individuals lay a rectangle-shaped piece of seaweed beneath the onigiri, causing it to rise slightly on either side. And sometimes, ones with an ingredient incorporated into the rice don't even have seaweed on the exterior.

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