Learn how to make a popular Japanese rice ball, Tuna Mayo Onigiri! With only five simple ingredients, you can have them ready in under ten minutes! Tuna onigiri is perfect for a lunch box or a portable snack on the go!
Tuna mayo onigiri is a great snack when you're craving something delicious and easy to make. While you may come across it at your local Japanese store, nothing compares to homemade onigiri!
Learn how to make these simple onigiri with tuna and enjoy the authentic taste. This recipe also includes five delicious variations to enjoy more!
- This recipe is for you if:
- You love onigiri (Japanese rice balls).
- You want to make creamy tuna mayo onigiri.
- You are searching for a tuna onigiri recipe.
- You are looking for variations of onigiri with tuna.
Let me show you how to make it. If you want to check the recipe immediately, please visit the link below. Let's get started!
- About This Recipe
- Tuna Mayo Onigiri: A Quick Introduction
- Popular Onigiri Fillings in Japan
- 📋 Ingredients
- Where to Buy Japanese Ingredients
- Helpful Tips
- How to Wrap Onigiri In Nori
- Variations of Tuna Onigiri
- What To Serve With
- How to Wrap in Plastic Wrap
- Other Onigiri Fillings
- Thanks For Stopping By!
- 📖 Recipe
- Tuna Mayo Onigiri (How To Make Japanese Rice Balls)
- 💬 Comments
About This Recipe
- How to Make Tuna Mayonnaise Onigiri
- Include Popular Onigiri Fillings
- Japanese Ingredients Explained
- How to Wrap Onigiri in Nori Seaweed
- Tuna Onigiri Variations
Tuna Mayo Onigiri: A Quick Introduction
Onigiri, also known as rice balls, is a traditional Japanese dish and beloved everyday food many people in Japan enjoy.
While triangle onigiri is a common and iconic variation, you can also create round or cylindrical shapes. They are filled with various ingredients, such as fish and vegetables, and then wrapped in nori seaweed.
Tuna is a popular filling for onigiri. This particular variation, tuna mayo onigiri, is a delicious snack that features a creamy and savory filling made with canned tuna and mayonnaise.
If you're a tuna fan or searching for a flavorful and satisfying snack, the tuna onigiri recipe is a must-try!
Popular Onigiri Fillings in Japan
You might be curious about Japan's most popular and traditional fillings for onigiri.
Some favorites include tuna, salmon, umeboshi (pickled plum), tarako (cod roe), katsuobushi (bonito flakes), and kombu seaweed.
If you visit Japan, you can easily find these rice balls at convenience stores (Family Mart, Lowson, and Seven-Eleven) and in ready-made food sections at grocery stores.
If you're looking for more inspiration and ideas for onigiri fillings, my 16 Best Onigiri Fillings recipe has got you covered!
Here are the ingredients for Tuna mayo onigiri (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 should I use for Onigiri? The answer is short-grain rice.
Japanese short-grain rice is the best rice for making rice balls. It can hold the triangle shape of onigiri.
If you are unsure how to cook Japanese rice, check 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. However, this size is too large for onigiri (perfect for a sushi roll), so we will divide it into three.
We use canned tuna, water- or oil-based, depending on your preference, and it's best to drain any excess liquid before mixing with mayo.
Where to Buy Japanese Ingredients
If you live in the US, you can find Japanese ingredients in the list below.
- Japanese market: Mitsuwa Marketplace, Marukai
- Asian market
- Whole Foods Market
- Health food stores
- Online stores: Instacart, Walmart, Amazon
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. Combine tuna and mayonnaise in a small mixing bowl to prepare a tuna mayo filling.
- Place rice in a small bowl and tuna mixture 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 a softer texture, like in the picture!
The inside looks like this. Tuna mayo is filled in the center.
- Use short-grain rice: Short-grain rice works best for onigiri as it is sticky and holds its shape well.
- Use plastic wrap or onigiri molds: To shape the onigiri easily and neatly, you can wrap them in plastic wrap or use onigiri molds. These tools come in handy, especially when the rice is too hot and difficult to shape with your bare hands.
- The shiny side of the nori sheet: When using nori seaweed, take a close look at the nori sheet. You'll notice that one side is shiny, and the other side is slightly rough. Make sure to place the shiny side facing outward when wrapping the rice. This adds a visually appealing touch to your onigiri.
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!
Variations of Tuna Onigiri
More variations for onigiri with tuna? I've got some suggestions for you! You can mix in ingredients like salty and spicy for a savory flavor!
- Tuna Mayo and Wasabi: Add spicy Japanese horseradish, called wasabi, to the tuna mayo mixture for a spicy kick.
- Tuna Mayo and Soy Sauce: Drizzle soy sauce over the tuna mayo filling for an extra savory flavor.
- Tuna Mayo and Shio Kombu: Mix in seasoned kombu seaweed, known as shio kombu, to your rice for a tasty twist. (This is my favorite!)
- Tuna Mayo and Kimchi: Mix in some spicy kimchi to add a Korean-inspired twist to your rice. If you're looking for spicy tuna onigiri recipes, try this variation.
- Tuna Mayo and Curry: Mix in some curry powder with your rice for a flavorful and aromatic onigiri.
There are endless combinations of onigiri with tuna! I hope you will enjoy exploring all the different flavors and find your favorite ones!
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 various Japanese dishes! Here's an example of a light lunch with a delightful side dish.
- Tuna Mayo Onigiri
- Tamagoyaki (Japanese rolled omelet)
- Tofu Hamburger Steak
- Daikon Salad
- Veggie-loaded Kabocha Soup
Onigiri is best enjoyed fresh, but if you need to pack them for later, wrap each onigiri tightly in plastic wrap to keep them moist.
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. Heat it in a microwave oven right before eating it (do not thaw it at room temperature as it will dry out).
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!
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!
ONIGIRI IDEA EBOOK
Unlock a world of onigiri with this ebook! Packed with delicious filling ideas, it's your ultimate go-to resource for exploring the incredible onigiri variations!
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
There are many delicious fillings you can use for onigiri. Some popular options include tuna, salmon, umeboshi (pickled plum), tarako (cod roe), katsuobushi (bonito flakes), and kombu seaweed.
Yes, you can eat tuna onigiri cold. In fact, onigiri is a portable snack or lunch on the go, so commonly enjoyed at room temperature or chilled.
Tuna onigiri can generally be left out at room temperature for about 2 hours during the summer, while in the winter time, it can last for up to half a day. However, if you plan to store it for a more extended period, storing it in the fridge or freezer is recommended to maintain its freshness and ensure food safety.
Onigiri can be enjoyed both hot and cold, depending on personal preference. It is typically eaten at room temperature or chilled, but some people enjoy it warm or freshly made.
Absolutely! Onigiri is a great option to pack for lunch. The compact shape and portable nature make it an ideal choice for a meal on the go. You can wrap each onigiri individually in plastic wrap or place them in a bento box or airtight container to keep them fresh and secure.
Tuna Mayo Onigiri (How To Make Japanese Rice Balls)Print Pin Save Saved!
- 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 it with both hands frm a triangle shape (or round shape) by pressing gently with both your 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.