Umeboshi Plum, Shiso, Cucumber and Edamame Onigiri

Onigiri, Japanese rice balls are a simple quick snack or lunch. Ume are salted Japanese plums. Umeboshi paste is pickled plum purée and has a distinctive umami salty sour flavor. Ume has been used medicinally for thousand of years and is said to improve digestion, remove toxins from the body and improve energy. A plum a day in Japan instead of an apple a day in the United States! The umeshiso combination has a sour and salty taste from the plum paste, and a minty taste from the shiso leaf. Pure bliss! Shiso leaves are in the mint family. If you cannot find shiso are your local market, you can substitute fresh mint.

Umeboshi Plum, Shiso, Cucumber and Edamame Onigiri

Make the rice – Rinse the sushi rice with cold water in a mesh colander. Place the washed rice in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let rest for 30 minutes. Drain. 

Place 1 cup rice, 1¼ cups of water and ½ salt in a large saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 12 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let rest for 10 more minutes. Fluff the rice with a wooden spoon and let cool until lukewarm.

To make the Onigiri – Wet both of your hands with water in order to keep the rice from sticking to your hands. 

Scoop out a handful of warm rice, about ⅓ cup, into one hand. Create a small indentation in the center of the rice. Put a tsp of cucumber, a ½ tsp of umeboshi and a little shiso inside plus a couple of edamame, if using. Use your judgment, but not more than 2 tsp of filling is best. Mold the rice with your hands around the well to cover your filling completely and roll into a ball. Roll in sesame seeds or furitake as desired. 

makes about 9 onigiri


  • 1¼ cup sushi rice
  • 1⅔ cups water
  • ½ tsp salt


  • 1 small Persian cucumber, diced
  • Umeboshi paste
  • 4 shiso or large mint leaves, julienned
  • Shelled edamame, optional


  • White sesame seeds, toasted
  • Black sesame seeds, toasted
  • Nori Komi Furikake