brown rice onigiri

Brown Rice Onigiri with Mushroom Filling

Onigiri is a Japanese snack made of white rice balls that are filled with meat or vegetables and wrapped in seaweed. This recipe ups the nutrition factor by subbing out white rice for brown rice. The addition of a flavourful filling of mushrooms, garlic, ginger, and green onions makes this fun little snack even healthier. 

Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine gluten free, Healthy, Japanese, Vegan
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12 onigiri (rice balls)
Author Jasmin Meere |


  • 1 cup (190 g) short grain brown rice (about 4 cups or 780g cooked rice)
  • 2 cup (470 mL) filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon (5.54 g) pink Himalayan salt (optional)
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) Chosen Foods avocado oil or coconut oil
  • 277 grams of cremini mushrooms (about one small package) or 100 g of shiitake mushrooms (one small package), enough to equal 1 cup (75 g) of minced mushrooms
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, enough to equal 1 tablespoon (15 mL) minced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 green (spring) onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) of soy seasoning or tamari
  • 1 small pinch of white pepper (optional)
  • 1 sheet of nori (sushi seaweed)


  1. Combine uncooked rice, water, and salt (if desired) into a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil then lower heat to low and simmer, covered, for 40-45 minutes. 

  2. In the meantime, prepare your mushroom filling. Heat avocado in a frying pan over low-medium heat. Add it minced mushrooms, minced ginger, minced garlic, sliced green onions, soy seasoning, and white pepper. Cook until mushrooms are soft and dark brown.  

  3. Once rice is finished cooking, set it aside until it is cool to the touch. 

  4. Fill a small bowl with warm water. Wet your hands, then scoop out about 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of rice. Form into a ball. With your finger, form a small well in the rice ball. Carefully spoon in a teaspoon (5 mL) of mushroom mixture and seal the rice ball together. 

  5. Cut out a strip of nori about 1 inch wide and 4 inches long. Gently wet the nori strip and wrap it around the rice ball. 

Recipe Notes

Your brown rice balls will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days.