Onigiri Recipe: Chicken and Spicy Mayo (2024)

This simple and delicious Onigiri recipe is a true crowd pleaser! Everyone – from kids to gourmands – loves a good Japanese rice ball with chicken and spicy sriracha mayo!

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Onigiri(which isthe honorific term for nigiri) has been a favorite snack of mine since I was a little girl. I love the variety in flavors and the simple ritual of wrapping nori (dried seaweed) around a ball of perfectly cooked Japanese rice.

One of the earliest memories I have of eating onigiri was duringmy first trip toJapan at the age of four. It was a hot summer afternoon at my aunt Eiko’s house near Tenjin in f*ckuoka, that I firstfell in love with the snack.

I waswatching cartoonson TV in myHello Kitty pyjamas, when my aunt popped her head out of the kitchen to see if I was hungry. I answeredwith a small nod since I could barely speakJapanese, let alone understandit. She then brought me a pitcherof mugicha (barley tea) filled with ice and a small plate ofbite size onigiri.

The teenyrice balls were warm, seasoned with salt and wrapped in sheets of flavored toasted seaweed (ajitsuke nori). Not only were they allperfectly shaped and the exact same size, theywere also the best onigiris I had ever tasted.

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Okay, I was only four years old and from a small town in Quebec so what did I know about an onigiri recipe – or Japanese food in general, right?

I was no onigiri recipe expert back then but I can tell you that it left a strong imprint in my memory! So strong in fact that I STILL often think about that batch of bite size onigiri.What could she have possibly done to make them taste so good? I have tried so many timesto recreate them butcan’t seem to get theright ratio of saltto rice, nor the perfect rice temperature.

How can something as simple as a plain onigiri recipe with salt be so hard to reproduce?

After years of trying to solve this tasty mystery I eventually gave up and instead, came up with my own delicious onigiri recipe.

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Say hello to mychicken onigiri recipe! The umamiand saltiness is infused directly into the chicken pieces while a layer of julienned ginger and carrots bring heat and sweetness.I also added a little sri racha mayonnaise to make this chicken onigiri recipe a major flavor bomb!

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When making an onigiri recipe, the flavor options are truly endless. I’ve had so many different versions of 0nigiri and I must say I always enjoy devouring them!

For this oinigiri recipe I usedchicken tochange things a little, since fish is usuallythe main protein in onigiris. By marinating the chicken in garlic, sake and soy sauce for as little as 20 minutes, I was able to change its texture and make it super moist!

I was so surprised by how delicious the chicken wasthatI momentarily consideredposting it on its own. But nah,fuhgettaboutit – Achicken onigiri is way more filling and exciting to eat!

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This onigiri recipe is also very versatile: no chicken in the fridge? Use pork or beef instead! Don’t want meat? Go vegetarian withseitan or try marinating medium or firm tofu.

As I said before, the options are endless with onigiri! It’s a deliciousand healthysnack (or meal!)that’s easy to make and fun to share.

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Did you like thisOnigiri Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share?Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!


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Onigiri Recipe: Chicken & Spicy Mayo

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  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 7 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 onigiri 1x
  • Category: Snacks
  • Cuisine: Japanese
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Onigiri (Japanese Rice Ball) is such a versatile meal – and one your kids will love! Try this easy chicken onigiri recipe with sriracha mayo for your next lunch or snack!



  • 1/3 pound boneless chicken breast (preferably thinly sliced)
  • 1 thumb size ginger (peeled and sliced into thin strips)
  • 1 small carrot (peeled, sliced into thin strips the same length as the ginger)
  • 1 stalk scallion (chopped into thin strips the same size as ginger and carrot)
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 cup cooked Japanese rice
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
  • nori sheets
  • kosher salt


  1. Add chicken, garlic, soy sauce and sake in a bowl and mix well. Marinade for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix mayonnaise and sri racha sauce together in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Add salt to the rice and using a plastic or wooden spoon, fluff the rice (do not over mix or toss) until salt is evenly mixed in.
  4. In a small pan over medium heat, add oil, carrots and ginger and fry for 2-3 minutes, until vegetables are soft but still yielding a slight crunch. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  5. Using the same pan, add chicken and cook on medium for 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Set aside.

Assembling the onigiri:

  1. Set a bowl of water next to your ingredients.
  2. Wet your hands (this prevents the rice from sticking) and grab a small handful of rice. Flatten the rice and shape it into a triangle.
  3. Make a dent in the center of the nigiri and spread a little sir racha mayonnaise all the way to the tip of the nigiri.
  4. Lay a few strips of scallions, ginger and carrot in the center of the dent.
  5. Finish by adding one or two pieces of chicken on top of the vegetables.
  6. Lay the onigiri on top and in the center of a sheet of nori. Fold in half and serve onigiri individually or on together on a plate.


You can refrigerate the ingredients for this Onigiri Recipe separately for 3-5 days.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 260
  • Sugar: 1.3 g
  • Sodium: 268.6 mg
  • Fat: 9.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29.7 g
  • Fiber: 0.6 g
  • Protein: 10.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 28.8 mg

Keywords: recipe, rice balls, musubi

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Onigiri Recipe: Chicken and Spicy Mayo (2024)
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