Prawn and Pineapple Onigiri (Rice Balls)

When I’m not busy mixing fruit and meat into bizarre combinations I am lucky enough to be a primary school teacher.  Many of the children I teach are from Japanese backgrounds, so I often see these delightful little triangular mounds of rice in their lunchboxes.  I was amazed at how perfect they look, and being a lover of Japanese foods in restaurants I became curious about these creations.

My understanding is that these are typically stuffed with various fillings, but for this attempt I tried something a bit different and worked the filling through the rice.  It’s worth saying here, I never make claims to pure authenticity in my recipes – just make them taste good.  Here, the prawn’s sweet-salty flavour delicately kisses the pineapple’s sweet-sour tones to make a lovely little snack.

All of the ingredients here are available at most large supermarkets, but you may need to be pointed in the right direction.


  • Prepared Japanese Rice – instructions here.  Follow up until step 4.
  • Ripe Pineapple – a few rings goes a long way.
  • A couple of handfuls of cooked prawns
  • Chilli flakes to taste
  • Salt
  • Soy Sauce
  • Nori (seaweed)
  • Black sesame seeds for decoration


  1. Finely mince the prawn and pineapple in a food processor, or with finely chop with a knife.
  2. Mix thoroughly with the prepared rice and season liberally with soy sauce.  Taste and adjust to your liking and add chilli flakes to your own liking.  I just like a little kick.
  3. Spread out on a large plate or tray for it to cool down – this will be essential for the shaping process, as it needs to be nice a sticky.
  4. To shape, wet your hands with a little water and sprinkle with salt.  Take a handful and shape into whatever form you like – cones, triangles, rounds are all fine.  Add a little strip of nori along the bottom.
  5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds for a nice bit of visual contrast on the yellow surface.  Wrap in cling film and eat cold.


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