Onigiri Rice Balls with Salmon Recipe • Seafood Nutrition Partnership
Onigiri rice balls with salmon by Maya Feller
Onigiri rice balls with salmon by Maya Feller
Onigiri rice balls with salmon by Maya Feller
Onigiri rice balls with salmon by Maya Feller
Onigiri rice balls with salmon by Maya Feller


1 cup steamed Japanese rice (dry or 2 cups cooked)
1 cup jasmine brown rice (dry or 2 cups cooked)
2 - 4 oz. salmon fillets
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried dill
1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
2 cups cucumber, peeled & cut into small strips
2 avocados, chunked
2 sheets of nori seaweed
White and black sesame seeds to garnish
Onigiri rice balls -- a fun and easy take on sushi at home by cookbook author and dietitian Maya Feller.


1.Prepare Steamed Rice: Place rice in a large bowl and wash the rice 3 times. Allow rice to soak in clean water for 30 minutes.
2.Prepare the Salmon: While the rice is soaking, season both sides of the salmon fillets with garlic powder, onion powder and dried dill. Bake salmon at 400ºF in the oven for 25 minutes. (If vegetarian skip this step). Slice each salmon fillet into 4 pieces each total of 8 salmon strips.
3.Cook Rice: Combine rice with 3 ½ cups of water and 1 cup of vegetable broth in a pot with a lid and bring to boil over medium heat. Once boiling, turn heat to low and continue to cook for 30 minutes or until the water is completely absorbed. Remove rice from heat and set aside on a large plate to cool, approximately 10 minutes.
4.Combining the Filling: Combine cucumber, avocado and sesame seeds, and mix well.
5.Making Onigiri: Cut the nori sheets into quarters. Wet your hands so that the rice does not stick to your hands. Scoop out a handful of rice (approximately 1/3 cup) in one hand. Create a deep indent in the middle of the rice. Place about 4 teaspoons of the filling in the center of the rice.
6.Press the rice around the filling to cover the filling completely. Press the rice to form a triangle. Add 1 serving of salmon on top of the rice and wrap the triangle with nori.
7.Continue each step for 8 onigiri rice balls. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with soy sauce and ginger, if desired.

Maya Feller is a registered dietitian nutritionist, cookbook author and a seafood lover. She created a series of seafood recipes her kids love.

Like all moms, I want my kids to eat more nutritious seafood. The challenge is getting them to try it in the first place. Here’s a tip that works for me and will for you, too. Let your kids help make the new food you want them to try. Here’s a recipe for onigiri – rice balls stuffed with veggies or protein – a fun way to get your kids involved in the kitchen.

I’m seeing more of my friends’ kids like sushi. This is a fun and easy way to try it at home – and you can make it with baked fish or vegetarian with fun fruits and vegetables to please different taste buds in the family. Onigiri is one of my son’s favorite foods & this is a fun dish to get everyone involved. Kids are more inclined to try new foods if they helped make it!

Some tips:

  • Make the rice ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator. That will significantly reduce cooking time for this recipe.
  • To save even more time, try smoked salmon or even canned salmon.
  • For the vegetarian onigiri version, feel free to cut strips of your favorite vegetables – and even fruit. Red pepper and mango both make great filling.

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