How To Reheat Onigiri (3 Easy Ways)

Onigiri is an excellent snack to have with you. But if you take it hot, it will be much better. Sadly though, hot rice is inclined to get lumpy and dry, with an awful taste.

To prevent eating your onigiri cold, I have put three various ways on how to reheat onigiri in this article.

It is left to you now to read till the end and then decide which way will serve you best in bringing back the fresh and better taste of your onigiri. You can reheat your onigiri in the microwave, a frying pan, or a steamer. 

Let’s go further.

How to Reheat Onigiri (3 Easy Ways)

1. In a Microwave 

  • First of all, take out the external nori, if necessary you deem fit. 
  • Close up your walls well with moist paper towels or drench them in water and put them in a concealed plastic bowl. 
  • Microwave it at 50% power for some 20 seconds till it gets hot. Take out the nori and serve.

The manner in which the paper towels and the coated bowl make the fabric fluffy and tasty in mere seconds. You can not but choose the microwave for your comfort.

But then, you can follow the other way around it.

  • In the microwave bowl, stick a fork in the water and close the bowl with a plastic cover. Then take the steps we’ve discussed above.
  • To boost the moisture, utilize a damp cloth. Or add some water to ensure the wood does not dry out and maintains its elasticity.
  • Nonetheless, don’t forget that it heats up rapidly, so 20 to 40 seconds is enough. Placing it in the microwave for too long will get you a parched, sticky gooey.

And do not microwave too many at once. Two will be best at a time. Anything higher than that, you begin to get an unusual temperature.

You can also cover the microwave cable tightly in the microwaveable plastic film, but I’m sure not everyone will be good with that. 

Do not allow the plastic wrap to come in contact with your food in the microwave, though.

This method is fast and possible for everybody with a microwave, and it is sure to provide consistently good results in maintaining the softness and moisture of your onigiri.

A significant advantage of the microwave method is that it will heat the onigiri evenly. So, say your goodbyes to biting into sizzling hot rice and getting cold inside!

I strongly recommend this method if you’d like your snack warm in a hurry.

2. In a Frying Pan

  • Take out the nori from wherever it is and set it aside. 
  • Warm up some butter or oil in the pan on medium heat. Fry your onigiri for two minutes on both sides.
  • If you like, rub your onigiri with soy sauce, and fry for an additional minute on both sides or until you see a crunchy layer. It is ready. Take out your nori and devour it hot.

The outcome of using this method is a delicious dish called yaki onigiri

It’s an excellent way to revamp your old onigiri that’s gone stale, as it would be beyond saving by the microwave or steaming.

Soy sauce is essentially utilized to create a crunchy outward layer of yaki onigiri, but you can also utilize teriyaki sauce or sweet miso, all relying on your preferred flavor.

I like the sesame oil more when reheating onigiri in a pan, but any dissolvable fat will be okay, even vegetable oils, bacon grease, and butter.

Be cautious about the temperature of your pan, though. If it gets too hot, the onigiri will burn on the outer part but will be cold in the center.

NOTE! If you think that your onigiri is too sour for even yaki onigiri, you can still save it by making ochazuke. This is a dish including rice and tea.

Making Yaki Onigiri would be my choice if I had the time. The wood is tender and sweet on the inside and crunchy on the outside. 

And you will not get tired because you can shuffle with the flavor contour by painting the wall with various levels. Next time though, I will try miso.

3. In a Steamer

  • Place your steamer and set it right. Put in some water and set it to a simmer. 
  • Have your nori handy. 
  • Set the steamer basket with perforated baking paper to avoid sticking. 
  • Responsibility your onigiri, place it out well in the steamer basket, and close it with a lid. Warm them for 4 to 5 minutes. 
  • Take out your nori and eat it hot.
  • Steaming onigiri dissolves the rice hardness and heats them all the way through. It’s a great method for reheating a couple of onigiri at a time.
  • Placing baking paper in your steamer basket deters your onigiri from sticking to the basket. Give them some space in between to avoid them attaching to each other.
  • Ensure you perforate the paper, though, so the steam can still rise well enough. If no baking paper is handy, you can also utilize cabbage or lettuce leaves.
  • Survey the onigiri frequently, so you won’t overheat them. Overheating them will only give you a mushy, soggy rice that isn’t nice to eat.

While this method is an excellent alternative to the microwave, it isn’t as convenient or practical.

In terms of effects, though, the onigiri maintained its soft stickiness and salty taste.

The steam permeated all the way through the rice cakes, heating them evenly.

If you’re reheating onigiri for several people and have the time, utilizing the steamer method is a great idea and will be the tiniest fuss.

Can You Reheat Onigiri in The Oven?

Yes, you can reheat onigiri in the oven, but I wouldn’t suggest it. 

The key to good onigiri is sweet, sticky, and moist rice. 

The oven will toast the rice, so you’ll only have chewy, dry rice at the end of the day that wishes to fall apart, and that is even if you put some water before heating it.

If you do like to reheat your onigiri in the oven, though, here’s how:

  • Put your oven to 300°F (150°C). 
  • Take out your nori, if present, and put it aside.
  • Lightly drench your onigiri with water and drape it tightly in tin foil. 
  • Warm them up for five minutes or till they are heated through. 
  • Take them out from their foil, put back your nori, and serve hot.

How Long Does Onigiri Last?

To maintain your onigiri taste and freshness for as long as possible, follow the following guidelines when stocking them.

Room temperature: Normally, rice onigiri can withstand room temperature for upwards of six hours (8 hours if loaded with umeboshi, a simple preservative).

Refrigerated: Onigiri will remain delicate in the fridge for up to three days. Place the onigiri with mayonnaise-based stuffing for only one to two days.

Frozen: Onigiri frosts well and will stay elegant for up to two months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you eat onigiri the next day?

Yes, you can, but If it was not properly refrigerated, you should not eat it.

Are you supposed to reheat onigiri?

There is nothing wrong with eating your onigiri cold, but some people just prefer the heat.

Why is my onigiri falling apart?

They probably are not sticky enough because of the kind of rice you utilized.

Do you eat the seaweed on onigiri?

Yes, you do.

Should you wash rice for onigiri?

Yes, you should. Just rinse the rice. That should be enough.


Onigiri should not be thrown away in any situation, do not make that mistake. You should consume it quickly enough or reheat the leftover the next day.

With all I have discussed above about how to reheat onigiri, you shouldn’t have any problem with that.

Thank you for reading!