Spicy and Delicious Salmon Onigiri

A close up of food on a plate


A close up of a plate of food

Salmon Onigiri, also known as inarizushi, are rice balls wrapped in nori. They are popular in Japan. It is a low-calorie food. It is very famous among the people who are on diet.

The rice is prepared by cooking it in a seasoned broth called “dashi”. The broth traditionally includes kombu and bonito flakes, but you can use chicken stock instead if you prefer. The cooked rice is mixed with vegetables and soy sauce and then shaped into balls and wrapped in toasted seaweed sheets. Salmon is common, but you can use other fillings like tuna or crab.

You can buy pre-made sushi seasoning (sushi-zu), but if you have some dashi on hand it’s just as easy to make. You’ll need some dashi for the rice too so be sure to save some. Soy sauce and wasabi are popular accompaniments for salmon onigiri. They go especially well with soy sauce. A few drops of lemon juice also help brighten the flavors. Try adding some bonito flakes or finely chopped green onion to your onigiri.

You can find dashi at any Asian grocery store, although they may sell it under different names like “dashi powder or “dashi packet”. It is available in large packets and usually under the soup section. If you can’t find it or just don’t feel like shopping, try asking a Japanese person to point you in the right direction (I’m sure they’ll be happy to help!).

At around 1 USD per packet, dashi isn’t cheap but it lasts for several months if kept sealed in your cupboard. This recipe uses about two tablespoons of the seasoning so unless the recipe calls for more I wouldn’t worry too much about not using up all of it (although I do love experimenting with leftovers). Besides, you may want to make kombu dashi another time and that requires ingredients that aren’t common for most kitchens.


A close up of food
  • Rice (1 cup of cooked rice will make about three onigiris).
  • Salmon fillet (1/2 a fillet = 1/3 cup of salmon flakes): Seasoning for sushi rice – Nori seaweed sheets.
  • Soy Sauce: Wasabi Paste – Onion flakes or green onions if desired

Note: You can use canned tuna instead. Drain well and be sure to flake the meat finely so it does not come out in big chunks when you bite into it. It’s also best to use leftover dashi to cook your rice with unless you are making this dish specifically for dinner. If you don’t have any then just substitute water or chicken broth Also, I know that bonito fish is a controversial subject. Most of the bonito that Americans eat comes from fish farms in Taiwan, but there are still some cases of overfishing and by-catch in factory ships. Most people don’t have an issue with eating this fish though because it’s generally eaten as a delicacy, not for sustenance. Please do your research before determining whether or not to consume bonito!

Calories in Salmon Onigiri:

Salmon onigiri is relatively low in calories, with one piece coming out to around 250-300.

It also contains a decent amount of protein and a variety of vitamins. Onigiri in general is a simple, delicious snack that is easy to take on the go.

Quarter-cup serving size has around 28 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fat, and 2 grams each of protein and dietary fiber. There are plenty of other minerals present as well, just be sure to select wild salmon if you want omega-3s.

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