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Japanese-inspired tuna onigiri

Serves   Makes 10
Prep time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins

Onigiri is a traditional Japanese rice ball, which is the perfect snack or on-the-go meal! This recipe features a creamy tuna and veggie filling the whole whānau will enjoy, and our lightly pan-fried variation gives the onigiri a beautifully crispy outer; what’s not to love!

  • Lunch box
  • Tuna
  • Fish
  • Snacks
Japanese-inspired tuna onigiri




  • 3 cups sushi or arborio rice, rinsed 
  • 350g Pams skipjack tuna chunks in springwater, drained
  • 3 Tbsp Japanese or standard mayonnaise 
  • ¼ cup Pams tinned corn kernels
  • ½ carrot, peeled and grated 
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Pams soy sauce, plus extra to serve 
  • Pams olive oil or butter, for cooking 




  1. Cook the rinsed rice as per pack instruction, then cover to keep warm and set aside. In a bowl, use a fork to flake the tuna chunks into smaller pieces. Add the mayonnaise, corn kernels, grated carrot, spring onion and soy sauce to the bowl, and stir well to combine. 
  2. Lay a piece of eco-friendly plastic wrap onto a board. Place two heaped tablespoons of warm rice into the center, and press into a circular shape. Press a dip into the center, then add a tablespoon of tuna filling. Place another 2 tablespoons of rice, then flatten with your spoon. Gather the clingfilm to cover, then use your hands to squeeze and press the onigiri into a circular disc shape. 
  3. Unwrap the onigiri, set aside, and repeat with the remaining rice and filling. Once all the onigiri are shaped, gently pan fry over medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side in a knob of butter, until golden and crispy. Drain on a paper towel.  
  4. Serve the crispy warm onigiri with a side of soy sauce, or pop into a lunchbox for a great sandwich alternative! Store in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

Skill level: Medium

Chef's tip: Save any remaining tuna filling and keep it refrigerated for a quick sandwich or wrap filling during the week.