Making onigiri – in England!

Many of you will be shocked to know that, a couple of days ago, I woke up and decided to cook! I’m not known for my cooking, but I do enjoy having a go. When I went to the supermarket last weekend, I picked up some ingredients to try to make my own onigiri (rice balls). The results weren’t bad at all!

First, I have to give credit to the wonderful Just Bento website. This post gave me some really useful hints! Thank you! 🙂

Luckily, when I used to live in London I bought myself a rice cooker. Even more luckily, my mum kept it for me!

First you need a rice cooker...

It’s a really nice one, although a little too big really. Still, I can’t cook rice in a pan at all, so I’m very happy to have a rice cooker!

So, first I set the rice off to cook. Unfortunately, it’s really hard to get Japanese sticky rice round here (by round here, I mean near to Bognor Regis). Most of the rice that is sold in normal supermarkets is long-grain rice. However, some (slightly nicer) supermarkets do have small “Asian” sections which usually stock “sushi rice”, i.e. Japanese sticky rice.

"Sushi rice" (aka sticky rice)

This pack is made by the company Yutaka which seems to be one of the main companies which makes Japanese food in the UK. The other is Clearspring, who made the nori (seaweed) that I bought.

Some nori (seaweed)

At Narita Airport I treated myself to some furikake (or “sprinkles” as I like to call them).

Yummy salmon sprinkes

I didn’t see anything like that for sale in the shops around here, but I suppose I can make my own seasoning or fillings when these run out (or pay a visit to the Japan Centre in London).

So, after the rice was cooked I mixed some furikake in with the rice:

Mix the sprinkles in with the rice

Then, using the tips from Just Bento, I put the rice into a plastic bag and used the corner of the bag to make a nice shape:

Squeeze and shape

It was semi-successful! I think I need more practice though.

Naked onigiri

Finally, I wrapped the rice balls in half sheets of nori:

Finished onigiri!

They tasted quite good, although perhaps a little stodgy. They didn’t look fabulous, but hopefully I can improve that with practice. 😀

3 thoughts on “Making onigiri – in England!

  1. You can just use clear saran wrap instead of a plastic bag, and then squeeze it into a ball shape. Then, use your hands to form it into an onigiri triangle shape. Have you seen the Youtube Channel “Cooking with Dog”? It is reaaaally great for Japanese recipes and I’m pretty sure I remember watching an onigiri one. They recommend using your bare hands dipped in salt water (so the rice doesn’t stick to your hands), but the rice is too hot for me to handle so I use cling wrap.

    I’m not sure if you have access to anything like Daiso from Japan. In California, we had a store that basically sold hyaku-en goods and we also had a Daiso that sold items for $1.50-$2.50. They had onigiri molds where you just put the rice in and then pop them out. Sooo easy.


    • Thanks for stopping by Shar! I used salt water with the bag and it really helped the rice not to stick. The bag is quite nice because you can use the corner to make a sort of triangle shape.

      Sadly we don’t have Daiso near my current home, but I can get those goods in London I think. Actually, I have one of those moulds but it’s in my shipping (which I am still waiting for!!).

      I’ll check out that YouTube channel – thanks! 🙂


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