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Ohba Shiso 大葉 Onigiri

Ohba Shiso 大葉 Onigiri

Onigiri おにぎり are hand-held rice balls that are made with seasoned short-grain rice and a variety of fillings. Commonly, these onigiri are wrapped with nori to prevent rice from sticking to one's fingers, but in this version we are going to wrap them in the Ohba Shiso leaf for a delicious and refreshing twist. 

Ohba Shiso 大葉 Onigiri 

makes 6 Onigiri 


  • 3-5 Ohba Shiso Leaves, finely shredded
  • 4 cups cooked short grain sushi rice (2 cups raw)
  • Toasted sesame seed (optional)
  • Salt to taste


  • Spatula  
  • Large Bowl for mixing rice (wooden preferably)
  • Small mixing bowl

As long as you can cook rice, you can make Onigiri! This recipe is a great snack on the go or as a simple lunch, and a wonderful way to enjoy the light herbaceous flavor of Ohba Shiso. 

We will begin this recipe by cooking the Japanese short grain rice according to your preference (we recommend using a rice cooker for best results). Once the rice is cooked, place in the large wooden bowl and mix gently to toss the grains, encouraging the rice to cool until it is warm but not hot.

After the rice is cooled, add the shredded shiso leaves, and toss this mixture gently with the spatula until fully combined. 

Next, create a station for rolling the onigiri: this will include a small bowl of water, a container of salt, your rice mixture, and at the end of the line, additional Ohba leaves for wrapping. 

Wet your hands and sprinkle with a small pinch of salt, rubbing the salt evenly around your hands, then grab about half a cup of the rice mixture and gently form into the triangular onigiri shape. Once you reach your desired shape, place an Ohba leaf on one side of the ball with the point of the leaf falling right in the center of the onigiri. Optionally, these Onigiri can be garnished with toasted sesame seeds for an additional nutty flavor. 

These onigiri can also be filled with a variety of fillings such as:

  • Spicy tuna 
  • Katsuobushi (bonito flake)
  • Salmon and mayo
  • Umeboshi
  • Grilled Negi and miso
  • Takuan (pickled daikon)
  • Tarako (cod roe)

 No matter how you prefer your onigiri, you will be sure to enjoy the addition of Ohba in this classic snack!

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