Can You Freeze Onigiri? And Is It Really Healthy?

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Onigiri is the perfect snack that can be eaten at any time of the day.

Tips for Freezing onigiri at home
Tips for Freezing onigiri

These lightly seasoned rice balls are easy to make and can be stuffed with a tasty filling of your choice. 

But can you freeze it? The answer is yes. Read on if you’d like to find out more about how to freeze onigiri and the best way to store it. 

How To Freeze Onigiri

It is easy to make too much onigiri when preparing a meal.

So instead of throwing your leftover pieces in the trash, why not freeze them?

Freeze onigiri at home
How to freeze onigiri at home

Freezing these mouth-watering rice bites is ideal if you have visitors coming over for a meal, or if you lead a busy lifestyle where grabbing food on the go is a must. 

It is best to freeze as soon as it has been prepared, to lock in as much freshness as possible.

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To do this, simply wrap each piece in plastic wrap and place them into the freezer. 

You should add any nori or seaweed wrappers upon reheating frozen onigiri as they can become soggy otherwise.

How To Reheat 

The best thing about making too much onigiri – is making too much onigiri!

There is nothing better than being able to enjoy these delicious rice bites after making too many the day before. 

How to reheat onigiri quickly
How to reheat onigiri at home

You may be glad to know that it can be reheated in as many as three different ways.

For Example: You can microwave, steam, or fry your leftover rice balls and they’ll taste just as good as when freshly made! Take a look at how to reheat onigiri in three diverse ways. 

Reheating In the Microwave

  • Take your frozen onigiri and remove the plastic wrap.
  • Wrap tightly in a damp paper towel. If preferred, you can alternatively sprinkle it with water and place it into a microwaveable bowl. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap. 
  • Microwave in 20-second increments until you feel it is cooked through. 

Reheating In a Steamer

  • Bring your steamer to a simmer 
  • Add the onigiri to the bowl. Adding a piece of baking paper to the bowl will prevent it from sticking. 
  • It should take around 5 minutes to cook through.  

Reheating In a Frying Pan 

If you do not own a microwave or a steamer (not all households do), then using a good old frying pan will do the trick.

Reheating onigiri in a frying pan adds a crispy texture for added crunch and is still just as enjoyable to taste. 

  • Place a small amount of oil or butter in the frying pan and bring to a medium heat. 
  • Fry the onigiri for two minutes on each side. 
  • Optional – brush each side with soy sauce for added flavor. 

Can It be Refrigerated?

Rice in general should only be refrigerated for no more than 1 day.

Refrigerate onigiri tips
Can onigiri be refrigerated?

Not only does refrigerated rice not taste as good, but there is also a high risk of food poisoning. 

With That Said – Freshly cooked onigiri should be eaten shortly after it has been cooked. Rice left out at room temperature is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

So, if you find you have made far too much, the best way to store it is in the freezer. 

What Can I Fill It With?

The beauty of onigiri is that it is such a versatile snack.

Tasty onigiri
Delicious onigiri

You can fill it with just about anything you like, including:

Why not try some miso beef, or stuff with salmon and mayo.

Vegans and vegetarians don’t have to miss out with fillings like edamame and sesame seeds, or Japanese leek and matsutake mushrooms. 

Adding a layer of seaweed and a few drizzles of soy or miso sauce will give your onigiri that well-deserved, extra punch of flavor. 

How To Make It Yourself

With all that mouth-watering information, you’re probably wondering how to make these scrumptious balls of flavor.

How to make onigiri quickly
How to make onigiri

Luckily for you, we have put together a short guide on how to make your very own onigiri.

You may be surprised at how simple it is!


  • 450g Japanese short grain rice
  • Seaweed sheets
  • Salt
  • Filling of your choice
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The Onigiri Mold, 3 Pack Rice Mold Musubi Maker Kit, is a practical and versatile tool for making onigiri and musubi, traditional Japanese rice snacks. This kit includes everything you need to create these delicious treats with ease. 

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03/23/2024 01:08 pm GMT


  • Rinse the rice and add to the rice cooker. If you do not have a rice cooker, you can cook it in a pan. Read the packet instructions to see how long you will need to cook it for. 
  • Once the rice is cooked, let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Place the rice into a bowl and sprinkle with salt
  • Place a spoonful of rice into the palm of your hand gently press down with the opposite palm.
  • Make a small indentation in the rice with your finger. 
  • Add your filling and slowly curl your hand to cover the filling with rice. 
  • Roll into a ball or a triangle. 
  • Place the onigiri into a container and be sure to cover it with a damp cloth. 
  • Repeat this process until you run out of rice. 

Is It Healthy?

We’re not going to lie.

If you are trying to lose a few pounds, eating onigiri is not going to be helpful.

Onigiri benefits for our health
Onigiri health benefits

While we agree they are not the most calorific snack on the planet, they are also not the healthiest. 

White rice is high in carbohydrates, and while carbs are not always the problem, it is hard to eat just one piece at a time.

You also have to consider the fillings and sauces that you like to stuff yours with. 

Keep In Mind – If you are looking to change your diet, you should allow yourself treats here and there, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Onigiri has a place in everyone’s heart!

To Conclude

Throughout this article, you will have learned that yes, you can freeze onigiri – but do it quickly!

Freezing this delicious snack when it has just been cooked not only locks in freshness, but it also prevents food poisoning. 

So go ahead, why not spend the rest of the day cooking an endless supply to stick in your freezer! 

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