Okaka Onigiri (Bonito Flakes Rice Balls)

Okaka Onigiri is a popular Japanese rice ball made by combining katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) with soy sauce to craft a flavorful filling. Give it a try, and enjoy every bite of these delicious rice balls!

Looking for more onigiri recipes? Try my Tuna Mayo Onigiri, Salmon Onigiri, Egg Onigiri!

two okaka onigiri rice balls on a plate.

I’ll walk you through the ingredients and step-by-step instructions. I hope you enjoy it!

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • This Okaka Onigiri recipe calls for just five basic ingredients.
  • It’s easy to make and perfect for a quick lunch or snack.
  • If you are looking for savory onigiri filling, umami-rich katsuobushi is a great choice!

Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls)

Onigiri is a Japanese food made of steamed rice filled with ingredients, formed into a triangle shape, and wrapped in seaweed. It’s perfect for a quick meal or snack, and the best part is you can easily customize it by choosing your favorite onigiri fillings.

Recipe Ingredients

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this Okaka Onigiri:

Okaka onigiri ingredients.
  • We use Japanese short-grain rice for making onigiri as it’s sticky and can hold the shape of triangular shape.
  • Nori seaweed is a type of seaweed that’s dried, crispy, and sold in sheets like the picture above. Get this full-size nori sheet (8.3”x 7.5” or 21 x 19 cm in general) at a grocery store. This size is too large for onigiri (perfect for a sushi roll, though), so we are going to divide it into 3.
  • Katsuobushi, or bonito flakes, are thin, smoked shavings made from bonito fish. They’re an essential ingredient in Japanese cooking, especially for creating a flavorful soup stock called dashi.

How To Make Okaka Onigiri: STEP BY STEP 

Here are some quick visual instructions! For the video and all the detailed ingredients and instructions, go to the printable recipe card below.

How to make okaka onigiri fillings.

Step 1

Prepare okaka by mixing it with soy sauce.

How to make okaka onigiri.

Step 2

Put the rice in a small bowl and add the okaka in the center.

How to make okaka onigiri.

Step 3

Form a triangle shape by pressing gently with both your hands.

How to make okaka onigiri.

Step 4

Wrap the triangular rice with nori.

okaka onigiri rice ball on a plate

Here you go! Eat right away if you like crispy nori seaweed. Or wait a few minutes for the nori to become a little softer, just like in the photo. Let’s take a peek inside!

A Different Way to Wrap Nori

How to wrap onigiri in nori seaweed step by step.

Here’s another method for wrapping the nori around the rice:

  1. Place the triangular-shaped rice in the center of the nori.
  2. Fold the nori on both sides diagonally.
  3. Fold the lower part of the nori toward the bottom of the rice.

With this technique, the rice is wrapped from both sides, so you don’t have to worry about the rice falling apart when eating.

two okaka onigiri rice balls on a plate.

I recommend placing the okaka filling on top of an Onigiri, like in the picture above. It’s not only easy for you to see what’s inside, but it also looks so cute!

Recipe Tips

  • Long-grain rice like Jasmine and Basmati would fall apart as they don’t have the right stickiness to hold the rice together, so I recommend picking Koshihikari or sushi rice.
  • If you are not sure about cooking Japanese rice in a pot, learn the straightforward method in this recipe: How to Cook Japanese Rice on The Stove.
  • If it’s difficult to shape the rice with your hands, use an onigiri mold to easily shape it into a triangle. You can also wrap it in plastic wrap for easier grip instead of using your bare hands.


Onigiri is best when freshly made, but if you need to store them for later, follow these guidelines:

  • Wrap each onigiri tightly in plastic wrap to maintain their moisture.
  • At room temperature, onigiri can be stored for up to half a day.
  • In the fridge, they can be kept for a couple of days.
  • If you plan for longer storage, freeze them for up to one month. When freezing, avoid wrapping the nori sheet. Reheat in a microwave just before eating to prevent dryness; do not thaw at room temperature.

What To Serve With

Onigiri pairs well with many different dishes! I suggest serving with vegetable tempura, tofu seaweed salad, and daikon miso soup.

Grab Your Onigiri Filling eBook!

Looking for more onigiri filling ideas? Check out our Onigiri eBook! From classics to creative options, all compiled conveniently in one place!

Onigiri filling ebook cover.

36 Fun and Flavorful Onigiri

bite shot of okaka onigiri rice ball.

More Onigiri Recipes You Will Love

Leave a Rating!

I hope you enjoy this Okaka Onigiri! If you try it, don’t forget to leave a rating to share your thoughts—I love hearing from you!

two okaka onigiri rice balls on a plate.

Okaka Onigiri (Bonito Flakes Rice Balls)

5 from 3 votes
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Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 onigiri
Author: Juri Austin
Okaka Onigiri is a popular Japanese rice ball made by combining katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) with soy sauce to craft a flavorful filling. Give it a try, and enjoy every bite of these delicious rice balls!



  • Prepare okaka: Put katsuobushi in a bowl and combine it with soy sauce.
  • Nori sheet: Divide a Nori sheet into three equal pieces.
  • Collect ingredients: Gather cooked Japanese rice, the nori sheets, the katsuobushi, a bowl of water, and salt.
  • Rice and katsuobushi: Fill a small bowl halfway with rice, create a small dent in the center, and add the katsuobushi. Fill the rest of the bowl with more rice.
  • Water and salt on your hands: Wet both hands with water, put some salt (2 fingertips of salt) on your palm, and rub between your hands.
  • Shape rice: Place the rice on your hand and hold it with both hands. Form a triangle shape by pressing gently with both your palms and fingers while rolling it several times. 
  • Wrap: Wrap the triangular rice with nori.



  • Equipment: Small bowl (This oxo tot small bowl is perfect for small onigiri)
  • Storage: Wrap each one with plastic wrap, put it in a container, and keep them in the fridge for a couple of days and one month in the freezer.
  • Variations: See the “Variations” section for more onigiri ideas.
  • Japanese short-grain rice (starchy and sticky) is ideal for making onigiri. If you are new to cooking rice, see “How to cook Japanese stove on the stove.”
  • The filling amount is up to you, so feel free to tweak it for your preference.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 136kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 255mg
Course: Rice
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: okaka, onigiri
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