Onigiri: Rice Balls for Training

onigiri (rice balls) wrapped and ready to go!

onigiri (rice balls) wrapped and ready to go!

I really enjoyed reading Scott Jurek‘s book Eat and RunJurek is an outstanding athlete and a great role model for vegan athletes everywhere. I had been hoping for years that he would write a book telling his story and when it finally came out alongside Rich Roll’s great book it made for an awesome summer’s reading.

Jurek provides a recipe to go with each chapter and his version of rice balls, or onigiri particularly fascinated me as a real alternative to sweet, processed, engineered food. A success! Relatively easy to make, these are awesome snack food, picnic food, and brilliant for before, during, or after a training session or race. Similar to sushi, you could get really creative with the fillings. The only trick is getting the nori to wrap correctly around the sticky rice. Like homemade tortillas, it takes a little practice.

Onigiri (Japanese rice balls)

rice ball ingredients

1 C sticky white rice (sushi, or medium calrose)

1 package toasted nori (ready for sushi)


umeboshi (Japanese pickled plum paste)

toasted sesame seeds (optional)




rice ball ready to wrap

rice ball ready to wrap

Cook the rice and cool completely.

Keep a small bowl of water nearby and a salt shaker to keep hands from sticking to the rice.

Cut the nori sheets in half diagonally

Wet hands and scoop out a palm sized ball of rice, molding it into a ball

Make an indentation in the middle and put a dab of either miso or umeboshi paste. Close up rice around it and mold again.

Place rice ball on nori triangle, sprinkle with sesame seeds and wrap as tightly as you can. A little water can help hold down the edges. It’s OK if there are open spots.

Pack ’em up and go!

Scott Jurek like his with miso, since the salt and other minerals in the nori are good in hot weather. I think the traditional ume taste is quite refreshing.

About vegpedlr

Plant powered off-road triathlete
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