Tuna Mayo Onigiri is a healthy, quick snack that's easy to make. It's tasty and filling too! Learn how to make this Japanese staple food with my simple recipe!
Tuna mayo onigiri is the perfect snack when you want something tasty, easy, and budget-friendly (using canned tuna).
You may be able to find it at your local Japanese market - however, nothing beats making it yourself!
Learn how to make these simple Japanese rice balls and enjoy the authentic taste!
- This recipe is for you if:
- You love onigiri (rice balls).
- You want to make creamy tuna mayo onigiri.
- You are looking for tuna mayo onigiri recipe.
- You want to get tuna mayo onigiri variations.
Let me walk you through the ingredients and the instructions. If you want to check the recipe, jump to the recipe. Let's get started!
- About this recipe
- Tuna Mayo Onigiri: A quick introduction
- Popular onigiri fillings in Japan
- 📋 Ingredients
- Helpful tips
- How to wrap onigiri in nori
- What to serve with
- How to wrap in plastic wrap
- Other onigiri fillings
- Thanks For Stopping By
- 📖 Recipe
- Tuna Mayo Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls)
About this recipe
- How to Make Tuna Mayonnaise Onigiri
- Include Popular Onigiri Fillings
- Japanese Ingredients Explained
- How to Wrap Onigiri in Nori Seaweed
- Tuna Mayo Onigiri Variations
Tuna Mayo Onigiri: A quick introduction
Onigiri, or rice balls, is traditional Japanese food. Shape rice in a triangular, put ingredients like fish and vegetables inside, and wrap in nori seaweed. It's our everyday food.
Tuna mayo onigiri is filled with a mixture of canned tuna and mayonnaise.
It's a tasty snack you can enjoy at any time. The filling's creamy, savory taste perfectly complements the plain rice in each bite.
If you visit Japan, you can find it at convenience stores (Family mart, Lowson, and Seven eleven) and in ready-made food sections at grocery stores.
Popular onigiri fillings in Japan
By the way, you may wonder what Japan's most popular onigiri fillings and classic flavors are.
Japan's favorite Onigiri fillings are tuna, salmon, and umeboshi. Tarako (cod roe), katsuobushi (bonito flakes), and kombu seaweed are other top choices!
Are you curious about what other fillings to put in Onigiri? This recipe, 14 Best Onigiri filling, gives you all the answers!
Here are the ingredients for Tuna mayo onigiri (amounts are in the recipe card below).
- Cooked rice (short-grain rice)
- Nori seaweed
- Tuna and mayonnaise
Let's go over each ingredient in the following section.
Japanese short-grain rice (Sushi rice)
What kind of rice should I use for Onigiri? The answer is short-grain rice.
Japanese short-grain is the best rice for making rice balls. It can hold the triangle shape of Onigiri.
Long-grain types like Jasmine rice and Basmati rice would fall apart as they don't have the right stickiness to hold the rice together, so I recommend picking Koshihikari or Japanese sushi rice.
If you are unsure how to cook Japanese rice, check here; how to cook Japanese rice on the stove, where I teach the simple method.
Nori is a type of seaweed that's dried, crispy, and sold in sheets like the picture above.
Get this full-size sheet of nori (8.3" x 7.5" or 21 x 19 cm) at local Asian grocery stores. This size is too large for Onigiri (perfect for a sushi roll, though), so we will divide it into three.
We use canned tuna, either water or oil-based depending on your preference, and it's best to drain any excess liquid before mixing with mayo.
You can use regular mayonnaise, but If you are looking for authentic flavor, choose Japanese mayonnaise. Kewpie mayonnaise or Ajinomoto are famous brands.
Now, let's move on to the instructions. I'm going to show you how to make Onigiri. You can also watch this recipe video.
- Cut the Nori sheet into three equal pieces.
- Put aside salt, a bowl of water, cooked rice, and a nori sheet, and prepare a tuna mayo filling.
- Place rice in a small bowl and tuna mayo in the center of the rice.
- Wet your hands, put a little salt on your palm, and form a triangular shape.
- Form a triangle shape by pressing gently with both your palms.
- Wrap it with a nori sheet.
Here you go!
Eat right away if you like crispy nori seaweed. Or wait a few minutes for the softer texture, like the picture!
The inside looks like this. Tuna mayo is filled in the center.
- If you struggle to make a triangle shape, use an onigiri mold. You just put rice into the mold and push it with a rice paddle from the top.
- Use plastic wrap if the rice is too hot and hard to shape with your bare hands.
How to wrap onigiri in nori
In this section, I will show you two ways to wrap Onigiri in a nori sheet.
1. Standard way
The first one is the most standard way.
- Place the triangular-shaped rice in the center of the nori sheet.
- Fold the nori sheet to the other side.
That's it! A quick and easy method.
2. Advanced way
This wrapping method is often seen at onigiri shops and is a little more advanced than the first.
- 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.
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 ingredients on top of Onigiri, like in the picture above. It's easy to see what's inside, but it also looks so cute!
Are you looking for more flavors? I've got some suggestions for you!
Why don't you mix in ingredients like salty and spicy for a savory flavor?
- Add wasabi (spicy Japanese horseradish)
- Add soy sauce
- Add shio kombu (Seasoned kombu seaweed)
- Add kimchi
- Add curry powder
If you're looking for spicy tuna onigiri recipes, try them with kimchi! It's my favorite!
Here you go! The combinations are endless when it comes to making Onigiri!
Check this recipe for more Onigiri filling ideas: 17 Easy Onigiri Recipes 🍙 (Japanese Rice Balls) Without Nori Seaweed.
What to serve with
Tuna mayo onigiri pairs well with anything! Here is an example of light lunch.
- Tuna mayo onigiri
- Tamagoyaki (Japanese rolled omelet)
- Tofu hamburger steak
- Daikon salad
- KabOnigiriso soup
If you don't eat Onigiri immediately, please wrap each one with plastic like the picture above before they dry.
You can store them for a couple of days in the fridge and one month in the freezer.
When freezing, do not wrap the nori sheet.
And heat it in a microwave oven right before you eat it (do not thaw it at room temperature as it will get dry).
How to wrap in plastic wrap
Here's how to wrap Onigiri in plastic wrap.
- Place onigiri on the center of the plastic wrap.
- Fold the bottom.
- Fold the sides.
- Fold the top and done.
- The other side looks like this.
- Open the wrap and enjoy!
Other onigiri fillings
If you are looking for different fillings, here are more recipes!
- Kombu onigiri
- Salmon onigiri
- Ume onigiri
- Okaka onigiri
- 23 Vegan onigiri recipes
- 17 Easy onigiri without nori sheet
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 to modern Japanese recipes with step-by-step instructions.
More Onigiri Recipes You Might Like
- 14 best Onigiri filling ideas
- 17 Easy Onigiri Recipes Without Nori Seaweed
- How to make onigiri step by step
- Salmon onigiri rice balls
- Yaki onigiri
Tuna Mayo Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls)Print Pin Rate
- 14 oz Cooked Japanese short-grain rice, 4 small bowls of rice, 400g
- 2 Nori sheets
- pinch of Salt
- 1 Canned Tuna, 5 oz/140g
- 2 tablespoon Mayonnaise
- Nori sheet: Cut it into 3 equal pieces.
- Prepare tuna mayo: Drain the tuna and mix with mayonnaise.
- Collect ingredients: Put aside salt, a bowl of water, cooked rice, nori sheets, and the tuna mayo.
- Add tuna mayo: Put rice In a small bowl, and make a small dent in the center, then add 1 or 2 teaspoons of tuna mayo.
- 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, hold with both hands, form a triangle shape (or round shape) by pressing gently with your both palms and fingers while rolling it several times.
- Wrap: Wrap it with nori sheet.
- 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 tuna mayo 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.
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