Mentaiko Onigiri (Recipe + Video)

Written by: elephanthouseid | June 29, 2023

Delicious and nutritious, onigiris are a staple food in Japanese culture. You’ll often find onigiris in convenience stores, airports, and cafes.

Onigiris, or Japanese Rice Balls, are made with freshly steamed rice and typically contain a filling of salmon, bonito flakes, umeboshi, or mentaiko. The rice is then formed into a triangle or a ball and wrapped with seaweed or furikake.

One of the most popular onigiri flavor is mentaiko, salted, spicy pollack roe. If you haven’t tried mentaiko onigiri before, consider making your own. The salty, spicy flavor of mentaiko paired with the fluffy, moist rice and crisp nori makes this onigiri a satisfying on-the-go snack.

Mentaiko Onigiri 


  • 2 cups cooked rice (We recommend freshly cooked rice that has been slightly cooled.)
  • 5 oz mentaiko 
  • 2 nori sheets 
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1 cup water (This water is used to wet your hands while making onigiri.) 


  1. Wet your hands to prevent rice from sticking to your fingers.
  2. Then, spread some salt over the palm of your hands. This will lightly season the rice and help with preservation. 
  3. Scoop a handful of rice, and gently push a small indent to make space for the mentaiko. 
  4. Put the mentaiko in the center and start to push the rice over the filling to cover it. Please add more rice if needed to cover the filling. 
  5. Gently squeeze the rice and mold it into a triangle shape. 
  6. Place the nori on the onigiri. Enjoy! 

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