Chicken and Ginger Onigiri Rice Balls

Mix the fillings with the rice and shape it into rice balls. The ginger gives them a fresh kick!

Chicken and Ginger Onigiri Rice Balls
Photographed by Masaya Suzuki

Recipe by
Akiko Watanabe




Rice & Noodles

Ingredients (Pieces 4)

  • 1/2 chicken thigh (120 g)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp sake
  • 1/2 tbsp mirin
  • 1/2 piece ginger
  • 440 g cooked rice



Cut 1/2 chicken thigh (120 g) into 7-8 mm cubes. Put in a pot and heat over medium heat while stirring. Add 1 tbsp of soy sauce, and 1/2 tbsp of sake and mirin each. Simmer until the liquid has evaporated.


Since no oil is used (except for the chicken fat), add the seasonings after the chicken is cooked.


Peel 1/2 of a piece of ginger and cut into threads. Soak in water for several minutes to remove the bite. Drain and pat dry.


Mix the chicken and ginger into the rice. Divide into four equal portions. Put one portion in a rice bowl. When the rice is cool enough to handle, flip the rice onto your palm and start forming it into a triangle rice ball.


A standard rice ball is about 110 g of rice. Freshly-cooked rice can be quite hot, so put the amount you need into a bowl and let it cool before handling directly.


Adjust the thickness by pressing the sides with one hand. Form a V-shaped "roof" with the other hand. Rotate and pack the rice into a triangle.