Onigiri: the recipe for Japanese rice balls, inspired by the masterpiece "The enchanted city" by Miyazaki

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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Here's how to easily make onigiri, traditional Japanese rice balls. The recipe from the book "The enchanted kitchen"


Onigiri are undoubtedly one of the most renowned dishes of the Japanese culinary tradition. The recipe we propose is inspired by the masterpiece "The enchanted city" of Miyazaki and is taken from the book "The enchanted kitchen", published by Trenta Editore

Onigiri are the quintessential snack in Japan and are often also served at lunch. These are triangular-shaped rice balls, which are seasoned with various fillings and decorated with seaweed. In addition to being very good, they are also light. The recipe is quite simple, but impressive.

Preparing them is very simple. If you want to try them at home, we suggest this recipe, taken from the book "The enchanted kitchen" by Silvia Casini, Raffaella Fenoglio and Francesco Pasqua. It is a real treat for lovers of the works of the master Miyazaki who want to know new details and curiosities of Japanese culture and try their hand at the typical recipes shown in the famous animated films of the Studio Ghibli.

Ingredients for people 4

  • 300 g of gohan
  • 360 ml of water
  • 30 ml of rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • sale
  • nori seaweed in sheets
  • Sesame seeds


Put the rice in a large bowl full of water, wash it gently in a circular motion and discard the water. Repeat for about 3-4 times, then drain in a colander. Put the rice and 360 ml of water in a pot with a lid and leave it to soak for 20-30 minutes before cooking.

Close the lid and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once the water boils, lower the heat and continue cooking with the lid on for 12-13 minutes. Turn off and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Transfer the rice into a bowl, add the rice vinegar, salt and sugar. With a small amount of salt sprinkled on your hands, shape the rice into small balls or triangles about 8 cm wide; create a small well in the center and add the filling of your choice such as chicken or Shiitake mushrooms. Shape the rice with your hands around it to completely cover the filling.

Using a sheet of nori seaweed, wrap the rice ball and decorate it with some sesame seeds.

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