Tuna Mayo Onigiri

Category Japanese
These delicious Japanese style seaweed wrapped rice balls are stuffed with a tasty tuna salad style filling. They are easy to make and a great fast to grab snack or light meal. Make them in traditional ball shapes or triangles and with or without the nori, dried seaweed sheet wrappers.


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Onigiri are Japanese rice balls that can be filled with any number of things. We like to form them into triangles or rounds then wrap them with seaweed sheets for easy handling (and deliciousness). When my mother was in university in Japan as a late-teen, this was one of her go-to meals. It's easy to make, costs very little, and is super yummy!

Use warm Japanese rice for this recipe as it sticks together nicely. I used 1 cup of cooked white rice and 1/2 a cup of cooked brown rice here. Please do not use long grain rice as the rice balls will fall apart easily.

Total Time: 45 minutes

Link: Make Apple Bunnies for Your Onigiri Presentation


  • 1 can tuna
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • nori sheets (dried seaweed sheets for sushi)
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked Japanese rice
  • a few leaves of lettuce (any kind)
  • 1 Tbsp saltwater


  1. In a bowl, mix together the tuna, mayonnaise, soy sauce, and green onions. This will be your filling for your onigiri.
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  3. Lay out a sheet of nori in front of you. Place a thin layer of rice all around, avoiding the edges of the nori.
  4. Place a few pieces of lettuce on the rice.
  5. Top with some tuna mixture and spread out.
  6. Fold the nori sheet edges in towards the center so everything is covered up.
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  8. Now wrap the onigiri tightly in plastic wrap. This will keep it in shape. Open it up when you're ready to serve.
  9. To make round and triangular onigiri with less nori (or none at all), dampen a small bowl with some saltwater on the insides. You will use this as your mold. The saltwater will keep the rice from sticking to the bowl.
  10. Add a small scoop of the tuna mixture in the middle.
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  12. Place some more rice on top.
  13. Turn over the bowl of rice into your hand. We are using nonstick food gloves here, but you can just use wet hands instead. Gently use both hands to press rice ball firmly into a round.
  14. This rounded triangle shape is also quite popular. :) Add piece of nori onto the onigiri, if you like. I put them on for easy pick-up, and because I just love the flavour! Unwrap the on in plastic wrap, cut if desired, and serve.
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