In Japan, ‘Onigiri’ Rice Balls are available in so many different flavours and with different fillings. ‘Onigiri’ are becoming popular in Australia, too. One of the most popular fillings is Tuna & Mayonnaise. I heard many international visitors to Japan fall in love with this Tuna Mayo ‘Onigiri’ Rice Ball. Do you want to make it yourself? Try my easy method. I guarantee you will never fail.


4 Onigiri


1 can (95g) Tuna *I used Tuna in Springwater
Salt *If Tuna is not salted
Finely Ground White Pepper *optional, See Method 2
2 tablespoons Japanese Mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Soy Sauce
Freshly Cooked Japanese Short Grain Rice
2 sheets Toasted Nori *1/2 for each Onigiri

  1. Drain the canned Tuna very well and squeeze to remove excess water. If you use Tuna in water, season lightly with Salt. Tuna in brine doesn’t need Salt as it is already salty.
  2. *Note: I recommend to add some finely ground White Pepper. You might prefer Ground Chilli OR Wasabi. A hint of spiciness makes a difference.
  3. Add Japanese Mayonnaise and Soy Sauce to the Tuna, and mix well.
  4. *Note: Traditionally Onigiri is made with your wet hands. Wash your hands thoroughly before making Onigiri. However, it is safe and much easier to make Onigiri using the plastic food wrap. Here is my method.
  5. Plastic Food Wrap Method: Spread 1 serving of freshly cooked Rice on a plate and sprinkle with Salt. This step is to season the Rice, and also to cool and dry the Rice slightly.
  6. Place the Rice on a sheet of food wrap and form into a ball. Pack firmly and shape it into a triangle, then make a hole in the centre.
  7. Fill the hole with the Tuna mixture, wrap it with Toasted Nori, and enjoy.
  8. Traditional Direct Hand Method: Wash your hands thoroughly, spread Salt on the palm of your wet hands. Place 1 serving of warm Rice on a hand, pack firmly and shape it into a triangle, then make a hole in the centre. Fill the hole with the Tuna mixture.