Triangle Rice Balls (Sankaku onigiri)

Triangle Rice Balls (Sankaku onigiri)
Photographed by Takeshi Noguchi

Recipe by
Eiko Oba


Rice & Noodles




Calorie count is for a riceball.

Ingredients (Makes 6)

  • 500 g cooked rice (hot)
  • 1 sheet nori seaweed (full sheet)
  • [filling ]

    • 2∼3 umeboshi (pickled plum) (large)
    • 1 small pack bonito flakes (5 g)
  • Salt, as needed
  • Takuan pickled daikon radish, as desired

    Pickled radish made with salt and rice bran. A familiar dish in Japan.



Cut the nori into 4-5 cm wide, 12-13 cm long strips. Make six strips.


Remove the pit from the umeboshi and mince the flesh. Mix together with the bonito flakes and divide into six portions. Place on a tray.


Divide the cooked rice into six portions by placing the rice in a rice bowl and emptying it on a large tray. This will allow the rice to cool naturally and you'll end up with equal portions of rice.


Fill a bowl with 100-200 ml of water and place the rice, umeboshi and bonito flake mixture and salt nearby.


Wet both hands with water to keep the rice from sticking to them. Take a pinch of salt and rub it between your palms.


When the rice is cool enough to handle, take one portion and make a well in the center. Place one portion of the umeboshi-bonito flake mixture into the well and bring the rice around it to cover it up.


Now to form the rice into a triangle. Adjust the thickness with the bottom hand and with the top hand, form an L-shape. Rotate the rice towards you as you pack the rice together to form a triangular shape. Make sure not to squeeze the rice too hard. Repeat the process for the other balls.


Wash and dry your hands. Wrap the nori strips around the rice balls. Arrange on a plate so that each end of the nori strip is on the plate. Garnish with the takuan.