RECIPE: Onigiri with Umeboshi Filling

Fused by Fiona Uyema's Japanese cookbook recipe for Onigiri with Umeboshi Filling

Recipe by Fiona Uyema, author of Japanese Food Made Easy and founder of Fused by Fiona Uyema Ltd. You can find her at @fionauyema and @fusedbyfionauyema

Makes 6–8 onigiri


  • Umeboshi 
  • Cooked Japanese white rice (2 rice cooker-measured cups of uncooked rice, 320g)
  • Bowl of cold water, for dampening your hands to make the rice balls
  • Salt (preferably freshly ground sea salt)
  • 1 sheet of nori – (make 8 strips by folding it in half, then a quarter, then one-eighth and then tear it with your hands or alternatively cut into 8 pieces using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife)
  • A few tablespoons of sesame seeds


1. Leave the piping hot cooked rice aside for a minute or so to avoid burning your hands.
2. Dip your hands into the bowl of water and sprinkle salt on the palms of your hands.
3. Take a handful of rice and, using both hands, shape it into an oval shape. Then, using your thumb, make a hollow in the middle of the rice ball, deep enough to fit umeboshi.
4. Place the umeboshi in the hollow. Gently fold the walls of the rice ball over the filling until it is completely covered.
5. Using both hands shape the rice ball into a triangular or oval shape, pressing firmly on the rice so it’s secure and won’t fall apart.
6. Take one of the strips of nori and wrap around the bottom of the rice ball. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the top.
7. Continue to make the rice balls until all the rice is used. Tip To keep onigiri fresh wrap them individually in cling film or tin foil.


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