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Four triangle shaped rice balls wrapped in seaweed on a plate.

Japanese Onigiri Rice Triangles (Rice Wrapped in Seaweed)

Kaylie
Easy and delicious triangle shaped rice wrapped with nori seaweed. Learn how to wrap onigiri with nori sheets or individually packaged sheet wrappers to keep the seaweed fresh and crispy. This is a great portable snack or lunch for school or picnics!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
wrapping time 10 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course lunch, Snack
Cuisine Asian, Japanese
Servings 4 onigiri
Calories 180 kcal

Equipment

  • Scissors

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup uncooked Japanese short grain rice
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup water Add water to a bowl to dip your hands in.
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt Add salt to a bowl.
  • 2 sheets nori seaweed OR 4 pre-cut and individually packaged onigiri wrappers

Optional toppings or filling

  • 4 tablespoons seasoned kombu store bought at Japanese market
  • 2 tablespoons furikake (rice seasoning) store bought at Asian market

Instructions
 

  • Add the rice to a bowl or rice cooker pot. Add water and wash the rice by lightly swishing it around with your fingers, then drain. Repeat 3 times and drain the water well. Add 1 cup of water to the rice and cook per rice cooker or stovetop directions.
  • Optional: for furikake rice seasoning, add it to the cooked rice and mix evenly with a spoon.

How to mold the onigiri triangle rice

  • Lightly wet your hands in a bowl of water, and rub it together with a sprinkle of salt.
  • Scoop about ¾ cup of rice in your hands. If you are adding a filling, flatten the rice out and add about 1 tablespoon of filling to the middle then fold the rice over.
    Hand holding seasoned rice ball.
  • Start molding the rice into a triangular shape with your hands. Cup your fingers in a "c" shape to form the edges of the rice, while patting the rice together to pack it.
    Molding rice ball into a triangle with hands.

How to Wrap Onigiri with Nori Seaweed Sheet Paper

  • Fold the seaweed in half, then cut or evenly tear along the fold.
    Tearing sheet of seaweed paper in half.
  • Add the rice on to the seaweed. Place the tip part of the triangle at the end of the seaweed paper (nearest to you).
    Rice Triangle on a seaweed sheet
  • Fold the two edges of the seaweed onto the rice. The rice should help the seaweed stick in place.
    Folding end pieces of seaweed onto rice triangle.
  • Next fold the whole triangle rice away from you and onto the seaweed.
    Folding onigiri triangle onto seaweed.
  • If there is excess seaweed paper at the end, you can trim it with scissors to better fit the onigiri, or if you like some of the rice exposed at the tip.
    Scissors cutting onigiri seaweed piece.
  • Place a few grains of rice on the two ends of the seaweed.
    Onigiri rice triangle with cooked rice grains on seaweed.
  • Fold the ends of the seaweed in to form a triangle.
    Completed folding of onigiri rice triangle.

How to Wrap Onigiri (Japanese Convenience Store Style)

  • You’ll notice the onigiri packaged wrapper has instructions printed on one side, and a plain side. Turn the wrapper, instructions side facing down with the pull tab pointing towards the far side.
    Sheet of seaweed paper wrapped in plastic.
  • Add the rice, tip part of the triangle touching the end of the seaweed paper (nearest to you). Fold the two edges of the seaweed onto the rice.
    Folding seaweed paper onto rice triangle.
  • Next fold the whole triangle rice away from you and onto the seaweed.
    Folding onigiri triangle onto seaweed.
  • Fold the two corner ends onto the wrapper to form a triangle.
    Folding seaweed paper onto rice triangle.
  • Use the sticker included in the wrapper package to secure ends in place.
    wrapped and sealed onigiri.
  • When ready to eat, pull the tab part of the wrapper off and pull the two sides of the wrap off to enjoy!
    Unwrapping of rice triangle onigiri.

Notes

*Nutritional facts provided are only an estimate, accuracy is not guaranteed.
  • Nutritional calculations for this recipe only includes the rice and seaweed, not the  optional filling or topping. 
  • Traditional fillings for onigiri are usually salty and include bonito flakes with soy sauce, pickled plum (umeboshi), tuna and mayo, salted salmon, kombu, furikake and much more. 
  • Do not over wet your hands, too much water will make the rice ball fall apart. It will also dampen the seaweed and make it soggy.
  • If you have an onigiri mold, this will be even easier to get that perfect triangle shape!
  • Keep a damp washcloth or paper towel over the rice bowl to prevent it from drying out. 
  • Only short grain rice will work for onigiri, substituting it with other types of rice will not mold well.
  • Onigiri is meant to be eaten on the same day they're made, storing them in the fridge will make the rice dry and clumpy. 

Nutrition

Serving: 4onigiriCalories: 180kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 3gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 589mgPotassium: 39mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 2mg
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