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Japanese Tuna Onigiri

These Japanese rice balls are the perfect lunch or snack.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 8


Sushi Rice

  • 2 cups sushi rice
  • 1 2/3 cups water (400 ml)

Tuna Mayo

  • 5 oz canned tuna
  • 2 tablespoons Japanese mayo (Kewpie)
  • 1 pinch salt

For Forming

  • 1 cup water
  • 3 teaspoons salt, for brushing hands with (you won't use all of this)
  • 2 sheets nori, cut into strips


  • First cook the sushi rice. If not using a rice cooker, bring the water to a boil and then turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes and then steam for 10 minutes.
  • Drain the can of tuna, add 2 tablespoons of Japanese mayo and a pinch of salt and mix.*
  • While rice is still warm, wet your hands with water, add a bit of salt to your palms and form a rice ball. Add around 2 teaspoons of the tuna mayo mixture and close the ball back up. Form the triangle shape (detailed instructions above) and then wrap the sheet of nori around the bottom of the onigiri. Garnish with sesame seeds if you like.


*Some tuna is a bit wetter and depending on whether you purchase skipjack or albacore I find the amount of mayo needed can be different. Start with 1 tablespoon and then decide if you need the second.