Learn how to make this popular rice ball, Tarako Onigiri. It's perfect for a quick snack or lunch box when you're on the go!
Tarako Onigiri is a flavorful and delicious rice ball with cod roe. Collect the ingredients and give it a try today!
- This recipe is for you if:
- You love Japanese onigiri.
- You want to make tarako onigiri.
- You are looking for onigiri recipes.
Let's get started!
Why This Recipe Works
- Tarako, or salted cod roe, adds a unique and savory taste that's both briny and delicious.
- Onigiri is the ultimate grab-and-go meal. This recipe works for busy individuals and families seeking a quick and satisfying snack or lunch option.
- These straightforward steps make it accessible for anyone to create these onigiri at home.
Here are the ingredients (amounts are in the recipe card below).
Let's go over each ingredient in the following section.
Japanese Short-grain Rice (Sushi Rice)
What kind of rice is best for Onigiri? The answer is Japanese short-grain rice. It can hold the shape of an onigiri as It's pretty sticky.
You can prepare Japanese rice using a regular pot if you don't own a rice cooker. Learn the straightforward method in my guide on How to Cook Japanese Rice on The Stove.
Nori 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.
Tarako is a Japanese delicacy crafted from raw cod roe. The roe is salted to enhance flavor and extend its shelf life, resulting in a deliciously salty taste.
Another variation of cod roe is called 'karashi mentaiko,' a spicy cod roe marinated with red chili pepper.
Both standard tarako and karashi mentaiko are popular choices as onigiri fillings. They are also great for pasta sauces and stir-fried rice dishes, adding their unique flavors to various Japanese cooking.
Now, let's move on to the instructions. For a more detailed demonstration, watch the video in the recipe card below.
1. Cut the sheet of nori seaweed into three equal pieces.
2. Separate the tarako from its thin skin.
3. Put aside tarako, salt, a bowl of water, cooked rice, and nori sheets.
4. Put rice in a small bowl and add 1 or 2 teaspoons of tarako in the center of the rice.
5. Wet both hands with water, put some salt (2 fingertips) on your palm and rub between your hands.
6. Place the rice on your hand, hold it with both hands, and form a triangle shape by pressing gently with both palms and fingers while rolling it several times.
7. Wrap it with the nori sheet.
8. Add a little tarako on top.
Here you go! Eat right away if you like crispy nori seaweed. Or wait a few minutes for the softer texture, like the picture!
Let's take a peek inside!
A Different Way to Wrap Nori
Here's another method for wrapping the nori around the rice:
- Place the triangular-shaped rice in the center of the nori.
- Fold the nori on both sides diagonally.
- 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.
I recommend placing the tarako filling on top of an Onigiri, like in the picture above. It's easy to see what's inside, but it also looks cute!
Tarako onigiri is best when fresh, but if you need to store it, consider the following guidelines:
- Room temperature: Enjoying it within half a day is safe since tarako is a raw egg. If you're worried about eating raw eggs, grill the tarako before using it in your onigiri.
- Refrigerator: Individually wrap each onigiri with plastic wrap and place them in a container. Tarako Onigiri can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
- Freezer: Not recommended. Onigiri with raw fillings like tarako are not suitable for freezing.
Onigiri Filling eBook
If you love Onigiri and are constantly looking for what to put in it, check out my eBook: 36 Fun and Flavorful Onigiri. Discover a world of Onigiri fillings, from classics like tuna mayo, umeboshi, and tarako to creative options. This eBook has it all!
Thanks For Stopping By!
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog♡. If you've tried this recipe (or any other recipe on the blog), please give it a star rating below!
Also, feel free to leave comments if you have any questions. I love hearing from you!
Chef JA Cooks is a Japanese food blog that shares simple and healthy Japanese home cooking recipes, including vegan and vegetarian. From traditional Japanese recipes to modern recipes with step-by-step instructions.
More Onigiri Recipes You Might Like
- 17 Easy Onigiri Recipes Without Nori Seaweed
- 16 Best Onigiri Fillings.
- Salmon Onigiri
- Tuna Mayo Onigiri
- Ume Onigiri
Tarako Onigiri (Japanese Cod Roe Rice Ball)Print Pin Save Saved!
- Prepare tarako: Cut the nori sheet into three equal pieces. Separate the tarako from its thin skin.
- Nori sheet: Divide a Nori sheet into three equal pieces.
- Collect ingredients: Gather cooked Japanese rice, the nori sheets, the tarako, a bowl of water, and salt.
- Rice and tarako: Fill a small bowl halfway with rice, create a small dent in the center, and add the tarako. 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) 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 onigiri with plastic wrap, put them in a container, and keep them in the fridge for a few days. (More details in Storage)
- Japanese short-grain rice (starchy and sticky) is ideal for making onigiri. If you are unfamiliar with Japanese rice, see "How to cook Japanese rice on the stove."
- The filling amount is up to you, so feel free to tweak it for your preference.