Questions about onigiri

Joined Jul 30, 2015
  1. Does anyone know how long onigiri can last in the fridge if salted correctly, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and didn't have any filling?  The only answer I've found is no more than a few days, but that's not really clear (does the person mean no more than 2 days, 3 days, etc.).  I don't have time in the morning to make onigiri and would rather make several one night, eat them over the course of 2-3 days.  
  2. People say that a salty filling can greatly extend the life of onigiri, but the only example they really give is umeboshi as an example.  Does anyone know of any other good, salty filling?  Also, I have some ume plum vinegar, and it has a decent salt content (1 tsp gives 17% daily recommended sodium).  Would applying some of that to the rice help extend shelf life?  Similar question with hot sauce b/c I love rice with hot sauce.
  3. Does onigiri freeze well, and if so, can they be quickly defrosted in a microwave?
Joined Sep 25, 2015
HI there! Onigiri are great. I learned how to make them when I took over a kitchen in a camp while doing disaster relief work in Japan after the big tsunami a few years ago.

1. As vague as it sounds, "a few days" is a pretty good rule of thumb. If you're making them for yourself in your clean , non-commercial kitchen 2 or 3 days should be fine. Even if they're filled, most of the standard fillings should be fine after a couple of days if properly wrapped and refrigerated. One concern people have (especially in a commercial setting) is Bacillus cereus, which are a rather nasty bacteria that can be found on uncooked rice. They can survive cooking and continue to produce toxins, which  many unfortunate souls have encountered after indulging in a cheap buffet with fried rice that has been sitting around at unsafe temperatures.

If you are forming your onigiri, wrapping them in plastic and refrigerating them promptly, you shouldn't have any issues.

2. Most of the standard onigiri fillings will have a longer shelf life than the rice itself. As you stated, many of them are salty (or sweet) and would hold for several days on their own. Rice kept in the fridge tends to get a dry texture, and then mold (huh).

In terms of other salty fillings, my fave is shake - the salted salmon one. I'm also a fan of fried chicken in onigiri /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif .

3. Onigiri can be frozen, just make sure to double wrap or store wrapped in a zip bag or something to protect. The microwave seems fine, but I've only tried that once since I don't have a microwave at home. Also, I wouldn't suggest this if you're wrapping your onigiri in seaweed before storing. Soggy nori makes me sad.

Top Bottom