Onigiri Recipe
and Bento Box Lunch

An onigiri recipe is pretty simple to make and is a popular item that is found in a bento box lunch. 

A bento box lunch is a lunch that can actually be considered a work of art.

And onigiri is often the foundation or staple of this traditional Japanese box lunch.

However, it is very important to learn how to properly cook rice to make a great tasting onigiri. 

Learning how to cook rice will ensure the right texture for your onigiri recipe and even possibly cut down on carbohydrates or starch.

How to Cook Rice
for Onigiri Recipes

Stove Top Method

I love the simplicity and the energy saved with this stove top method of cooking sushi rice. 

The best rice to use for a traditional onigiri recipe is sushi rice or Japanese short grain white rice.

The Rice Cooker Method

  1. Measure 2 to 3 cups of sushi rice into a bowl.
  2. Add clean water to the rice and swish the rice around with your hand - then drain cloudy water.
  3. Repeat step 2 until water runs clear (about 4 to 6 times).
  4. Then add an equal amount of water that matches your rice measurement.
  5. Then add this rinsed rice with water to the rice cooker.
  6. Switch on rice cooker and walk away.
  7. When rice is done cooking, let it sit for another 15 minutes.

Onigiri Recipe Tips

Onigiri is basically a Japanese rice ball that is usually stuffed with a tasty morsel in the center.

You can stuff your onigiri with whatever you so desire, but just remember that salty fillings will be less perishable.

My mother would make onigiri when I was young and she would stuff her rice balls with umeboshi plums (which are preserved plums). 

She would often make onigiri rice balls for lunch along with her special chicken whenever the family would go fishing on the Pacific ocean in my father's fishing boat.

She also chose to make really round onigiri rice balls. 

Apparently, that shape is associated with funerals, so you may be taking your chances.  Although we all made it till Now - lol.

  • Be sure to use fresh and warm sushi rice.
  • Wet your clean hands and sprinkle them with sea salt to help keep the rice from sticking to your hands.
  • You can use a mold to make onigiri or just do it the old fashioned way with your hands.
  • Work with about a 1/2 cup of sushi rice and form into the desired shape.
  • Wrap with seaweed, sprinkle with sesame seeds, or stuff them with tuna, etc.

Bento Box Lunch

A bento box lunch can consist of raw fish, cooked meats, sushi, fruits, onigiri, seaweed, and vegetables.

Bentos are probably some of the most creative and fun ways to eat your lunch.

And they are very popular in Hawaii.

Some people even go to the extreme of making food look like a certain character, animal, or elaborate design.

Ideas for a Bento Box Lunch

  • Onigiri Rice Balls
  • Cooked Fish, Teriyaki Chicken, or Hot Dogs
  • Fresh Salads, Seaweed, or Pickled Vegetables
  • Sashimi or Sushi
  • Hard Boiled Eggs

A Japanese box lunch or bento box lunch is a great way to make lunch for your children or even for yourself.

This type of lunch appeals to your eyes as well as your taste buds and is a great way to entice someone to eat all of their food.

Go to Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

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