Onigiri is a type of dumpling originating from Japan. Also known as a rice ball, traditional onigiri are a savory snack typically filled with pickled plum. This recipe teaches you how to make onigiri with a sweet potato and shiitake mushroom filling. Lightly seasoned with soy sauce, the filling has just a touch of umami flavor that doesn't overpower the other amazing flavors that these dumplings have going on. Serve with a side of miso soup for a light lunch.

Onigiri Rice Dumplings With Sweet Potato and Shiitake Filling [Vegan]





  • Generous 3/4 cup sushi rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 nori sheet
  • 1/3 of a sweet potato, diced
  • 2 shiitake mushrooms, fresh or dried (if dried, soak for 5-6 minutes in cold water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Rinse the rice in a sieve until the water runs clear. place the rice in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Measure the amount of water specified by the rice package in a pot and add the rice. simmer with lid on low heat until the water has absorbed completely, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steam under lid for another 15 minutes or so. Let cool.
  3. Preheat your oven to 440° F.
  4. Roast the sweet potato dices with salt and pepper for about 10 minutes. Flip them oven and roast for another 10 minutes or so, until they’re soft and lightly browned.
  5. Remove the stem of the shiitake and slice them. sauté in a bit of water, with garlic, and pepper on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until softened. Remove from the heat and fold in sweet potato dices and soy sauce.
  6. Moisten your hands with a bit of water. Take a handful of rice and softly roll to a ball. Use your thumb to make an indentation in the ball and add some of the mushroom mix. Make another rice ball, flatten it and place over the indentation of the first ball. Roll the onigiri again, and finally form a triangle with your fingers. Repeat the procedure until you’ve used all the rice.
  7. Cut the nori sheet into thick strips and split each strip in 2 or 3 pieces (depending on the size of your onigiri). Place the nori around the bottom of the onigiri (see images). Serve with light soy sauce or tamari.

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