Omusubi are Japanese rice balls that can be filled with savory additives like tuna, salted salmon, and umeboshi. They are simple to make and even more simple to eat. Aside adding a filling, you can also eat them plain or seasoned with salt, butter and then grilled. There are all kinds of ways to prepare omusubi and in this post, I’ll be sharing three of my favorite!
This is a sponsored post. Kewpie USA was kind enough to send me a box of mayonnaise and some salad dressings and this was one of the dishes that I’ve prepared with their products. If you haven’t heard of Kewpie before, it’s well known for it’s mayonnaise, which is richer and creamier than it’s American counterparts. They also make great salad dressings, one of my favorites being the sesame one. Give them a try if you want to add some Japanese flavor to your food!
Omusubi（おむすび）are delicious hand size rice balls with savory fillings.
Omusubi （おむすび） are one of my favorite Japanese snacks.
If you’re just discovering Japanese food, or have been eating it all your life, you’ll eventually com across omusubi, or onigiri.
Different words that refer to Japanese rice ‘balls’, triangles, and disks.
If you have ever been to a convenience （コンビニ） store or supermarket in Japan, you might have seen these in the food section.
Some of the food court stalls in department stores might sell these too.
Omusubi are basically balls of plain or seasoned rice.
They make for an easy snack on the go and or part of your lunch or dinner.
Sometimes they are stuffed with things like umeboshi (picked plum), salted salmon, tuna with mayo, mentaiko (salted cod roe), beef, and many other fillings.
My favorites are umeboshi, tuna and salmon.
Want to learn a few tricks to help you make these better and with less mess?
Read on for some of my tips below!
Making omusubi is as simple as making cooked rice!
Not really, though, since your rice machine doesn’t pop out omusbi, now does it.
Maybe one day it will!
But really, making omusubi is extremely easy.
Once you have cooked rice, you’ll want to remove it from your rice machine and or pot and allow it to cool.
Otherwise you’ll burn yourself. Yes, you will. so let it cool first! 🙂
After the rice cools, all you need to do is shape the rice and add a filling in between.
The shaping is probably the hardest part.
Sometimes you don’t even need to add a filling.
If you have a Japanese market or search on Amazon you can find omusubi seasoning and even use furikake, which might be easier to find.
With the seasonings, you just add to your rice (some while it cooks, some after) and then shape into a ball.
It’s a very easy thing to put together!
Depending on the size or how many you make, this could also easily become a full meal.
If you don’t have the triangle rice mold, you can also just use plastic wrap and shape the rice with your hands.
In between each batch, always wet the wrap or mold with water so the rice doesn’t stick. Your hands should be wet too!
^^^^ this is key – wet your hands so the rice doesn’t stick!!
Some other tips for making omusubi-
- use water for your mold, plastic wrap and hands!! Always!!
- always use fresh rice, try to eat the omusubi within the same day, as you may know rice that gets refrigerated can develop a harder texture
- add a piece of konbu (kelp) to your rice for additional flavor or umami ( which konbu is full of!! ); and no it’s not going to make everything taste like seaweed!!
- if you wrap with nori (dried seaweed), toast the seaweed over an open flame for a few seconds on each side, this really enhances the flavor 🙂
- to preserve the crunchy texture of the nori, don’t wrap the omusubi until just before you eat it. it makes a big difference!! (have you noticed in Japan, they keep a plastic divider between the rice and the nori?)
Ever made omusubi before? If so, what do you like to put in them? Let me know with a comment below!
Just in case you missed them previously, here is a link to my collection of Japanese recipes!