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In The Kitchen with Amelia & Teddy: Onigiri


  • Makes


  • Meal
    snack, lunch
  • Prep

    20-25 minutes
  • Cook

    20 minutes
  • Total

    45 minutes


  • 2 cups
  • short-grain white rice
  • sea salt
  • One 5 oz. can of wild, pole-caught tuna
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • sesame seeds, furikake (Japanese rice seasoning) or nori cut into two-inch strips


  • 1. Rinse your rice. (This is one of those tasks that as a beginner cook I skipped but that I never ignore now, as I know it leads to better, clearer-textured rice.) Put the rice in a bowl and cover with cold water. Swish it around a bit and then, using your fingers as a dam, pour out just the water and repeat two more times.

  • 2. If you have a rice-cooker, cook your rice in that. If you don’t, follow the package directions. Try to time this so that when the rice is done cooking, you are ready to assemble the onigiri. You want your rice to be hot.

  • 3. While the rice is cooking, mix the can of tuna with the mayonnaise. Taste it. If it needs salt, add salt.

  • 4. To assemble the onigiri: Arrange the pot of cooked rice next to a bowl with salt, the bowl with the tuna filling, and a bowl with a bit of water. Grab a ramekin or teacup and plastic wrap.

  • 5. Line the ramekin or teacup with a sheet of saran wrap. Sprinkle in a bit of water and then dump out any excess. Next sprinkle in a few pinches of salt.

  • 6. Fluff the rice with a fork. If you want to season the rice with furikake or some sesame seeds, go ahead and add a few tablespoons now. If you are moving forward with plain rice, just be sure to season it at the end or right before eating it.

  • 7. Scoop a large spoonful of the hot rice into the plastic-lined ramekin. Press it into the mold and then make a little well for the filling. 

  • 8. Place 1 tablespoon of the tuna mixture into the hollow, then scoop another spoonful of the rice on top. Press it down with the plastic wrap that’s hanging over the edge. Once you feel like it’s nice and compact, pull it out by lifting up on the plastic wrap. Continue molding it, trying to get it into a nice little 1-inch-thick triangle. Don’t worry if your first one is a bit wonky. They’ll get better as you go. Leave them wrapped in the plastic wrapper until you’ve formed all the onigiri. [If you want to wrap these in strips of nori, you’ll have to unwrap them from the plastic wrap in order to do so.] Enjoy at room temperature, either right away or put them in the fridge to enjoy the following day—if you can, bring them to room temp before eating.

Adapted from Lucky Peach

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