Salmon onigiri

I am completely obsessed with sushi and was lucky enough to go to Japan last year with work. Being able to have incredible, freshly made sushi which didn't break the bank was absolute heaven for me and I would love to go back again. 

So back in London, every week I go to my Spanish lesson (still very early days but hopefully one day I'll be good enough to write a blog or two in Spanish!) I always treat myself to an onigiri from Wasabi. They're so simple but so delicious and the perfect snack. 

I've tried sushi making before and I think we all know it's an art. So when I spotted onigiri on my Instagram feed, and as they're one of my favourite snacks anyway, I thought this might be a good entry level starter.

I'd bought some brown sushi rice and whilst it's a bit of a faff to prepare, with lots of soaking and waiting around, it's absolutely perfect once it's done. I'd suggest if you want to make these prepare the rice the day before and keep in the fridge. Otherwise if you're doing them after work like I was, it becomes a bit of an all night affair! 

SERVES: Makes 5-6 good size onigiri
PREP TIME: 20 minutes + sushi rice soaking and cooking time (check packet instructions)
COOK TIME: 0 minutes


  • brown sushi rice
  • 4 sheets nori 
  • 1 cooked salmon fillet 
  • toasted sesame oil 
  • black and white sesame seeds (for decoration)
  • paprika (for decoration)


1. Cook the sushi rice according to the packet instructions. 

2. In a bowl, flake up the salmon fillet and mix with sesame oil and a few white sesame seeds if you'd like. Onigiri fillings are often made with pickles, or teriyaki, mayonnaise or soy sauce, which aren't ideal for yeast-free. This one is just simple salmon and sesame oil. 

3. Once the rice is cool, get a bowl of warm water and dunk your hands in to wet them completely to make sure the rice doesn't stick to your hands. With your hands, scoop out a portion of the rice: I'd suggest a decent handful for a good size onigiri. 

4. Make a rough ball with the rice and push a hole in the centre, to make room for the filling.

5. Spoon a little of your salmon mixture into the hole, as much as you can get in! With your fingers, push it firmly in. 

6. With a wet hand, scoop out a little bit more sushi rice and press this on top of your first half with the filling, to completely cover and surround it. 

7. Shape your onigiri into pyramids, using one hand to cup the bottom and the other to to pinch the top of the rice into a point. With wet hands you should be able to mould the rice quite easily.

8. Repeat the process as many times as you can - I got 5 onirigi out of this much rice.

9. Cut nori sheets into thick strips to wrap around the bottom of the onigiri, in the traditional way. Alternatively you can use a whole nori sheet to wrap your onigiri completely (I have to say I haven't mastered the best way to do this, without the handy Wasabi packet to show me how!). 

10. Enjoy! I put these in a tupperware in the fridge and ate them over the next 24hrs. The sushi rice will make the nori go a little soggy, so you could always wrap just before eating.  

I must add I am hugely indebted to Steve at Steve's Kitchen for his video on YouTube which showed me how to make and shape these onigiri. If you've not done it before, check out his video as it demonstrates the technique I am explaining in writing.