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Japanese rice balls (yaki onigiri) from the yakiyaki grill pan

Japanese rice balls from the cast iron pan | Recipe at ORYOK

Yaki Onigiri rice balls are served in Japan as a snack or as a side dish to soups and stews. The crispy texture of the grilled rice ball and the salty taste of soy sauce, which is often used for seasoning, are very popular, making Yaki Onigiri a delicious addition to many Japanese cuisine dishes.

Onigiri, the slightly more well-known form of Japanese rice balls, are typically filled with ingredients like pickled vegetables, fish, or meat, and are shaped with rice into a triangle or a ball. They can also be served with a wrapping of nori sheets (dried seaweed) or another type of leafy vegetable. Onigiri can be eaten cold or at room temperature and are a popular type of finger food or snack in Japan.

Yaki Onigiri, on the other hand, are made from the same ingredients as Onigiri, but they are grilled or pan-fried until crispy and lightly browned. In contrast to Onigiri, Yaki Onigiri is often made without filling and shaped into a ball.

Which rice is best for this recipe?

For Japanese rice balls, typically special Japanese sushi rice is used. This sticky rice is also referred to as Koshihikari rice and is very popular in Japan. It has a short, round grain shape and sticks well together, making it ideal for shaping rice balls. Koshihikari rice is available in Asian grocery stores; another short-grain rice alternative would be Arborio or Calrose rice, which are also suitable for this dish.

Fry Japanese rice balls properly

A cast-iron pan is known for its high heat retention capacity and for evenly distributing heat across its cast-iron surface. These features make it ideal for searing foods such as rice balls, ensuring they are uniformly and crisply cooked. The high heat retention capacity of the cast-iron pan also ensures that the pan remains hot even when cold rice balls are added.

By using the finely ridged and uneven surface of the Yakiyaki pan in our recipe, the rice balls, incidentally, acquire a delightful texture!

Recipe for Japanese rice balls (yaki onigiri) from the yakiyaki grill pan

No. of persons2 personsNo. of persons
Total Timeca. 45 minutesTotal Time
Level of difficultyeasyLevel of difficulty
DishSide dish or snackDish
Caloriesca. 150kcal per portionCalories
Kitchenware Kitchenware
List of ingredients
2 cups cooked sushi rice
a large handful of small shrimps without bowls
half a bunch of spring onions
1 small piece of ginger
4 tablespoon sesame oil
100ml - about 8 tablespoon soy sauce
50 ml - about 4 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Salt
Kochende Miss Oryoki
Preparation of Japanese rice balls
Preparation of Japanese rice balls
Step 1

Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet and leave to cool completely.

Step 2

Finely chop the spring onions, prawns and ginger and mix them with the cooled rice and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl.

Step 3

Dip your hands in sesame oil and shape the rice balls with the mixed ingredients. How big you want your rice balls to be is entirely up to you. We recommend a diameter of 5-8 cm. To give them a nice fried surface, we recommend flattening the balls slightly on two opposite sides so that they sit well in the pan.

Step 4

Heat your cast iron pan over a medium heat and fry the shaped rice balls evenly on both sides until lightly browned.

Step 5

Mix the soy sauce and rice vinegar in a shallow bowl.

Step 6

Remove the balls from the pan and soak them in the soy-rice vinegar mixture for a few seconds on both sides.

Step 7

Place the balls back in the pan and fry on both sides over a medium heat until golden brown.

Step 8

Serve the warm yaki onigiri with a little soy sauce or a dipping sauce of your choice, such as tuna mayo, as a side dish or snack. Nori flakes or black sesame seeds are suitable for decoration. Bon appétit - or as in Japan いただきます.

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