Okowa Onigiri Rice Balls with Chirimenjako and Umeboshi

Rice balls are originally made to eat on the go, so it is important to taste good even after sitting awhile.

Okowa Onigiri Rice Balls with Chirimenjako and Umeboshi
Photographed by Takeshi Noguchi

Recipe by
Akiko Watanabe



Rice & Noodles




Excludes time spent soaking and cooking rice.

Ingredients (Serves 3-4)

  • 360 ml glutinous rice
  • 300 ml water
  • 2 tsp sake
  • 2/3 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp chirimenjako (15 g)
  • 4 umeboshi (store-bought)
  • 4 shiso leaves
  • 2 tsp white sesame seeds



Wash and strain the glutinous rice. Put the washed rice in a rice cooker and add the water, then let soak for 30 min (do not start cooking the rice yet).


Make sure to use slightly less water than usual for glutinous rice! The rice will be cooked in plain water, so it's okay to soak it in the same amount of water it needs to be cooked with.



Add the sake and salt to the soaking glutinous rice and stir in. Place the chirimenjako on top and start the rice cooker.


Use the flat of a kitchen knife to crush the umeboshi. Remove the pits and finely chop. Cut the shiso leaves in half along their lengths, then cut into thin strips.


When the rice finishes cooking, use a spatula to stir and fluff the rice, making sure to stir from the bottom. Mix in the umeboshi, shiso leaves, and white sesame seeds, then form into onigiri rice balls.