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Favorite Onigiri Filling? 
13th-Apr-2007 11:16 am
Onigiris are a great part of my bentos, but I've always been using the same tuna/mayo or umeboshi filling, which kind of gets boring after awhile.

I've been wondering if people could post up their favorite onigiri filling, so we can all try them out, and have more variety? I know I'm willing to learn some new ones! Technically, you can put anything you want into an onigiri, but some things work better than others...

On a side note, I'm wondering if it's possible to at first love umeboshi... and then after awhile, not being able to stand them. It's happened to me. I have a hard time eating them now, which sucks cause I used to adore them... Uhm, any way I can make myself enjoy them again? Haha.

Aaand how long do umeboshi last?

I'll add a pic of my new Hello Kitty Thermos, since I love it a lot. My camera is having problems at the moment, but I have a pic from where I bought it off ebay: Here.

Well, that's it I suppose.

Oh and thank you everybody for the wonderful encouragement and tips for my last post. You're all incredibly kind! :)
13th-Apr-2007 03:43 pm (UTC)
leftover salmon and green peas! yum.
13th-Apr-2007 03:56 pm (UTC)
I've done faux bbq chicken
grilled mushrooms
pineapple salsa
13th-Apr-2007 03:56 pm (UTC)
Bonito flakes, smoked salmon and cream cheese, Korean bulgogi beef, kimchi and chopped ham, scrambled sweet eggs...the choices are limitless!
13th-Apr-2007 03:58 pm (UTC)
I think umeboshi have a half-life of 200 years. Seriously, pickled things last a LONG time. Never had one go bad on me yet, and I don't gulp them down. As far as making yourself enjoy them - why? It's not a sin to dislike umeboshi. (Me, I can't stand takuan. I tried to get to like them, but... blech.)

One of my favorite umeboshi fillings is actually mixed in with the rice - ginger salad dressing. The first time it was a mistake; I put the dressing on my rice instead of the salad, oops. And when I tried it - wow! Delicious! The brand I use is "Naturally Fresh," and it's very close to the salad dressing they have at hibachi restaurants like Benihana and Nakato.
13th-Apr-2007 04:08 pm (UTC)
Aaaah. I see... Then I can still try eating the ones in my fridge, haha.

Thing is, I used to adore them? What would make me despise them now? It kind of troubles me a bit. (I can still sleep at night but...) Just wondering if there is any way to enjoy them again.

Yay, lots of different onigiri fillings, thank you all!
13th-Apr-2007 04:25 pm (UTC)
Try mincing them up and mixing them with rice. By themselves they may be overpowering, but attenuated like that they may be palatable. (I've made onigiri that way, BTW.)
13th-Apr-2007 04:31 pm (UTC)
You over ate them, the old saying you can never get enough of a good things is WRONG! You most certainly CAN! I can't eat pizza anymore, as well as a hand full of other foods, simply because I ate it for to long in larger quantities of say once a week type of things. You need variety, otherwise it becomes,, OMG not that AGAIN, but for your senses.
13th-Apr-2007 04:34 pm (UTC)
case in point, I LOVE merichino (SP?) cherries, Love Love Love them. Hardly ever ate them though. One day I had a party and bought a jar, but never used them. I ate the whole jar the next day, now I cant eat them, even though I love the darn things.
16th-Apr-2007 01:43 am (UTC)
I made black forest chocolate balls with 'em. Just get chocolate cupcakes, crumb them down with some cherry liquor, a dash of brandy and chocolate syrup, form into balls with a marachino cherry inside. Dipping into chocolate is optional; I dusted mine with cocoa powder then refrigerated them for a couple of days.

Good luck!
13th-Apr-2007 04:08 pm (UTC)
I've used everything. Almost any meaty filling to me can be used. I've used corned beef, leftover steamed groundbeef and mushroom mix (no idea what this is called in English), fish, leftover scrambled egg and shrimp, sliced ham. Anything.
13th-Apr-2007 04:20 pm (UTC)
That thermos is the cutest! I better not let my step daughter see the pictures. ;)

My daughter occasionally goes 100% vegetarian on me, so I have worked a few things into her onigiri (haven't posted them because I haven't made them in a while.) One is to marinade firm tofu in your favourite vinegar-based salad dressing (mine is a garlic vinegarette I have only been able to get from Fry's.) Or you could make your own with a little rice vinegar or something. Anyway, I marinade that overnight, then pat it dry and pan fry it in sesame oil. chop it up (or mash it to break it into little pieces) like egg salad and toss it in with a little diced green onion. It's yummy.
(Deleted comment)
11th-Sep-2008 10:12 pm (UTC)
I totally agree with your avatar.
And i must ask were can you get nori in america? do you have to get it at a specialty store?
(Deleted comment)
11th-Sep-2008 10:32 pm (UTC)
Okay and is the same for umeboshi?
13th-Apr-2007 04:27 pm (UTC)
I use tuna in my onigiri, but rather than regular mayo I bought wasabi horseradish mayonaise. It gives the filling a little more spice and it goes well with the tradition of onigiri. ^_^
27th-Aug-2008 02:18 pm (UTC)
i was just reading this and had to say

i LOVE your icon! XD
13th-Apr-2007 04:28 pm (UTC)
Umeboshi last forever. I don't think they go bad.

I like to mince up umeboshi, mix in bonito flakes and soy sauce to make a kind of umeboshi paste. Also goes well with shiso leaves mixed in too.

As for fillings -- cod roe, ikura, pickles (American or Japanese), leftover fish fillet(salmon, tilapia, whatever) with or without soy suace, spam, ham, hijiki, anything that could go into fried rice... or, yaki-onigiri (grill/toast with soy sauce) -- it's good made with leftover fried rice too.
13th-Apr-2007 04:32 pm (UTC)
I love spicy meats in my onigiri, mostly chicken. I'll add sriracha to my pulled BBQ meats or take leftover chickena nd make a spicy chicken salad with lots of onion.
13th-Apr-2007 05:14 pm (UTC)
Seconding sriracha. I adore tuna though, so I absolutely love tuna/mayo onigiri. Adding heat to it is enough to make it different for me. Luckily for me the tuna/mayo onigiri packages in Japan were really easy to spot from their colored label and easy characters.

As mentioned, salmon is also good, but I break mine into flakes (after cooking it) and pack it with salt and put it in the broiler. Dust/scape off the salt (I am a salt-fiend though) and it makes a great filling for plain rice -- I specify plain because some people put rice wine vinegar on their onigiri rice. So the plain rice with salty salmon? Fantastic.

13th-Apr-2007 05:33 pm (UTC)
My husband likes tuna (I can't stand it), so I make his with wasabi. :D
13th-Apr-2007 04:36 pm (UTC)
"On a side note, I'm wondering if it's possible to at first love umeboshi... and then after awhile, not being able to stand them. It's happened to me."

If it's happened to you, then obviously it's possible. Just take a break from them.
Pickled things should last years -- it's one of the points of pickling. But if they don't taste right, toss 'em and get a new jar.
13th-Apr-2007 05:22 pm (UTC)
Thing is... ... it's been months since I've eaten it. Maybe I should try one without honey, and just plain. That might work.

Thank you all for the wonderful comments, so so helpful!

14th-Apr-2007 05:30 am (UTC)
You may have just over-eaten tem and your body got bored.

Alternatively, I think sometimes we like/crave specific foods because there's a nutrient in them that we're lacking. (For example, sometimes I cannot stand the taste of Marmite, a british salty yeast spread, and other times it's like the best thing EVER.) So maybe it's just you don't need whatever's in umeboshi right now? :)
14th-Apr-2007 12:35 pm (UTC)
Haha. Perhaps.
Awww, my umeboshi are su unneeded right now. :(
13th-Apr-2007 04:45 pm (UTC)
One of my favorites is ground turkey fried with sesame oil, ginger, and a little bit of soy sauce.
13th-Apr-2007 04:58 pm (UTC)
Well the only fillings that I have used are avacado and Costco smoked salmon. I'd done plain onigire with just furikake.
13th-Apr-2007 05:22 pm (UTC)
Shrimp with wasabi mayo and polish sausage are my two fave fillings. Jennifer (?) over at veganlunchbox did onigiri for easter, with cashew butter as filling, which I'm probably going to try sometime soon.
13th-Apr-2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
I generally fill mine with tofu and spinach cooked in soy sauce and sesame oil, sprinkled with sesame seeds. Sometimes it's a little too runny, but it's still very yummy.
13th-Apr-2007 08:36 pm (UTC)
Onigiri fillings: My boyfriend really liked canned salmon mixed with a little bit of soy sauce. I've experimented with a green olive (w/ pimento)filling, and a western style kosher dill pickle filling. They were both kind of weird, but tasty. I normally do mixed onigiri, so that's all I've got.
13th-Apr-2007 09:03 pm (UTC)
mm, yea, scrambled sweet egg is my boyfriend's fave (I mix it in w/ the rice, then stuff them w/ bacon bits), or chopped water chestnuts w/ sweet chili sauce, or roasted corn kernals, or shredded carrot soaked overnight in mirin... ^^ yum, now I want to make some... ::wanders off to the kitchen::
13th-Apr-2007 09:04 pm (UTC)
^ oops, that's my post, forgot to sign in
14th-Apr-2007 01:23 am (UTC)
Wow, I'm so trying your "breakfast" onigiri idea next time I make them. Ohhh, so good sounding. 8D And the water chestnuts with sweet chili sauce sounds interesting. I've been craving that sauce, but I'm not so sure about the water chestnuts. Is it to give it a crunchy texture? I love both of those things separately, so it shouldn't be too difficult to like them mixed together.
14th-Apr-2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
mm, i haven't tried that combo in a while (last time I did, was one of my very first attempts), but as I remember them, they had a great little crunchy bite to them (bite also from the chili sauce), and got rave reviews from my brave food-testing friends ^^ If you mince the water chestnuts, rather than coarsely chopping them, I think they'd come out better... or different, anyway
10th-Sep-2008 11:21 pm (UTC)
Ur Icon...
So Cute!
13th-Apr-2007 11:39 pm (UTC)
If your umeboshi tastes funny, is dried out or hard (or expired - it DOES happen... I had Takuwan that expired on me)... I'd toss them... but usually they do last for years. Also, I'd rotate them in their tub. >_> They dont seem to put much of the juicy stuffs in their so I rotate them just in case. XD Im probably just paranoid though. I've never tried this but I read somewhere of someone mixing chopped umeboshi with rice and baby shrimps. Also, you might check the type of umeboshi you have... I've heard there are two types. You might try switching type. ^_^

As for fillings... I've found applesauce mixed with curry powder to form a very thick paste tastes pretty good. Strongly seasoned lemon pepper salmon is my favorite. Or.. instead of filling them you could just mix seasonings or stuff into your rice and shape that... or make plain salted rice balls and dip them in seasonings like furikake or hanaebi.
14th-Apr-2007 12:57 am (UTC)
canned tuna mixed with mayo, sprinkled with chopped green onions, soy sauce, and chili pepper flakes...mmmm I ate a whole bowl of it mixed with rice tonight. Cheap and filling!
14th-Apr-2007 05:07 am (UTC)
While it's not technically a filling, I have mixed furikake or sesame seeds in with my rice before forming onigiri. Looks really nice, especially when you make plain ones alongside them. I also sometimes mix dried fish flakes (what are those called again?) with a tiny bit of water and a tiny bit of soy sauce and use that as a filling. Sweet red bean paste. Smoked salmon. Curry chicken. Lots of stuff works. I'm getting good ideas from commenters here, too! Glad this was posted!
14th-Apr-2007 12:32 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'm glad my idea worked! :D

Thank you all for the replies~
14th-Apr-2007 08:37 pm (UTC)
One I like is tinned tuna, mixed with a little soy sauce, honey and mirin and then dry-fried briefly is good, but it has to be mixed with the rice as it goes into very small flakes.
14th-Apr-2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
Sushi ginger patted dry and chopped up small is also scrummy. I also heard of someone combining it with avocado as a filling.
4th-Oct-2007 09:38 am (UTC)
Indian lime pickle
Any other kind of strong flavored pickle
22nd-Jul-2007 01:22 am (UTC)
I know this post is huge. Forgive me if the size is inappropriate here.



cooked chicken or fish, chopped fine (I often use fresh roasted chicken or canned albacore...freshly grilled salmon is especially good)
green onions or negi (Japanese green onion) sliced fine
shoyu (soy sauce) or tamari (less-wheat or wheat-free variation on soy sauce)
spicy mayo to barely coat other ing. (recipe below)

All proportions are to taste. I use 1 can of tuna (or 1 chicken breast), 1-2 green onions, 1-2 tsp shoyu, and 2-3 Tbsp spicy mayo. This makes enough filling for about 6 onigiri.

After washing the onions, dry them with a paper towel before cutting.
Mix ingredients well, making sure that there are no chunks of meat larger than 1 cm. Fill your onigiri, wrap with your preferred style of nori, top with toasted kuro goma (black sesame seeds) or toasted goma (regular sesaqme seeds) and enjoy!

You may or may not want to dust your hands with salt before shaping the onigiri. Try with and without to see what you like. I prefer to salt my hands thoroughly and adjust the shoyu to taste, rather than adjust the salt amount. Less shoyu keeps the filling dryer.

optional: substitute daikon sprouts, radish sprouts, grated daikon or red onion in place of the green onion
optional: roll the onigiri in tempura crumbs or bonito flakes before wrapping with nori
optional: substitute boiled shrimp or rare-cooked tender beef in place of other meat
optional: add ripe avocado to the mix (delicious)
optional: for a very tasty Western flavor, add toasted garlic crumbs


1/2 cup mayonnaise (safflower or cold-pressed canola oil mayo is best)
2 tbsp hot chile pepper powder (use your favorite...we like chipotle, cayenne works great also)
1 tbsp hot sesame oil (be sure that it is made with -sesame- oil, not some other oil)

Thoroughly mix all ingredients (I use the back of a spoon to mash it all together. For larger batches, use a whisk).

For best results, refrigerate overnight to meld the flavors.
Keep refrigerated in a tightly-lidded container.
Due to the pepper content, this blend keeps fresh longer than regular mayo. Multiply the recipe to save work.
If your desire for spiciness leads you to use too much spicy mayo (making the filling too "wet"), add more chile to the mayo next time and use less of the mix.

This spicy mayo was originally created (by others) for use with sushi. It tastes AWEsome with ahi, maguro, salmon or yellowtail sushi (with some added avocado). It also tastes great on a hamburger.
8th-Apr-2008 04:23 am (UTC)
Diced strawberries work extremely well, especially fresh and slightly tart.
15th-Sep-2008 04:03 pm (UTC)
i have a fever at the moment, although it went down slightly. I was thinking of what to eat tomorrow morning, something that won't make me throw up and go back to the intervals. ^^; And I thought of onigiri!
I was wondering if its okay to put tuna mayo in my onigiri, or will it make me sick?
If so, i could stick with just rice and vinegar powder and seaweed.
>_< but what if it tastes so bland that I'll hate it. (Haha I have the tastebuds of a child)
2nd-Oct-2008 06:38 pm (UTC) - Onigiri
Hmm.. I REALLY gotta try onigiri some time. I was just going through my furuits basket manga looking for things to put n my onigiri, then i searched the web and found this. I have had so many ideas! Thanks to all of you! ^_^
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