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Okaka Onigiri Rice Ball Close Up

"Okaka Onigiri" Bonito Flake Rice Ball (おかかおにぎり)

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 Onigiri 1x


How to make classic Okaka Onigiri (bonito flake rice ball)




  • 1 bowl of ice cold water
  • 1 tbsp salt


  1. Add 15g (1¼ cups) of katsuobushi, 3 tbsp tsuyu sauce and 1 tbsp white sesame seeds to a large bowl and mix.
  2. Once all the liquid is absorbed, add 600g (3 cups) of cooked rice to the bowl.
  3. Mix well until all of the ingredients are spread evenly through the rice.
  4. Divide the rice into 4-6 portions (depending on how big you want the onigiri to be).
  5. Prepare a bowl of ice cold water and a small bowl with 1 tbsp salt.
  6. Wash your hands well and then submerge them into the bowl of icy cold water for about 15-20 seconds. This stops the rice sticking to your hands. (See note if you don't want to handle the rice)
  7. Rub 1-2 pinches of salt over the palms your hands. This not only adds the flavour to the rice ball, but also acts as a preservative whilst it’s in your lunchbox.
  8. Take a handful of the rice mixture and start to shape it in your palms, pressing the edges to form a triangle shape. If you press and turn, press and turn, press and turn, you should make a good firm triangle shape. (See our video on how to shape onigiri if you are unsure.)
  9. Don’t handle the rice for too long, quicker is better. Once you’re happy with the shape, wrap it with nori.
  10. Put your hands back in the icy water and repeat. This recipe makes 4-6 rice balls (depending on size).
  11. Eat straight away or put in your lunch box with an ice pack. They’re best eaten the same day.
  12. Enjoy!


If you don't like the idea of handling the rice too much with your bare hands, you can also put the rice into plastic wrap and shape it like that, just don't forget to salt the outside of the rice ball before or after shaping.

If you want to make them for tomorrow's lunch you can wrap them in plastic wrap and store them in the fridge. To stop the rice from getting too hard over night, wrap the plastic wrapped rice ball once more in a towel or kitchen paper.

Practice makes perfect but if you're having trouble, watch our youtube video or feel free to contact us!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Rice
  • Method: Mixing
  • Cuisine: Japanese

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