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rice balls
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2 c
cooked short-grain rice, kept warm
2 tbsp
furikake, or more to taste [or, mixture of 2 tablespoons kizami nori (shredded dried seaweed), 2 teaspoons black sesame seeds, 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds]

If you can cook rice in a rice cooker, you can make onigiri. Using a plastic mold speeds things up, but forming them into rice balls by hand is just as easy. Once you’ve mastered the basics of shaping the rice, you can begin to fill them with your favorite flavors, like mayo-spiked canned tuna, salted cooked salmon, or mentaiko—or eat them with whole shiso leaves instead of strips of dried seaweed. But even when they’re left plain, you won’t be disappointed.


  1. Add the furikake to the cooked rice and mix with a rice paddle until evenly distributed. Adjust seasoning amount as needed.
  2. Allow the rice to cool to a temperature that’s safe to touch before handling. With wet hands, portion out a ½- or ⅓-cup-size portion of rice. (Keep a small bowl of water to re-wet your hands.) Form into a puck shape by rolling the scoop of rice between both hands into a packed sphere, then flatten slightly with your palm. You don’t want to squish the rice together too much, but you also don’t want it to be so loosely packed that the grains won’t stick together. Even out the sides with your thumb and pointer finger, making a C shape to create a round, uniform edge if needed. Repeat until rice is finished.
  3. Serve warm.

Tatiana Bautista

Tatiana Bautista is an assistant editor at TASTE.