Japanese Yaki Onigiri (Grilled Rice Balls)

“Yaki” means grilled and “Onigiri” means rice balls. Yaki Onigiri are triangular or oval shaped rice balls that are grilled until the rice is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It’s a perfect snack or quick food loved by people of all generations in Japan. Ingredients and cooking steps are actually very simple and easy, so you can also cook at home even if you are living outside of Japan! This is really oishii(means delicious in japanese)! Must try!


  1. 1 cup Japanese white rice(150g)
  2. 1 tablespoon Soy sauce
  3. 2 teaspoons Sugar(Brown sugar)
  4. To taste Salt
  5. 1 handful Bonito flakes(Katsuobushi)
  6. 2 leaves Bamboo leaves(Sasano-ha) *For decoration
  7. 1 paper Baking paper(Parchment paper)
  8. Some Plastic wrap(Cling wrap)


  1. Cook rice in a rice cooker with a little less water than usual. (Because Japanese rice is sticky and soft, we better prepare a little bit harder rice than usual for Onigiri so that we can roll and shape easily without sticking too much)

  2. Combine soy sauce and sugar in a bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved.

  3. Add cooked rice in the bowl and mix well.

  4. Add bonito flakes and salt. Fold/mix up the rice using a spatula.

  5. Divide the rice into 4 equal portions. Then, mould the Onigiri within the plastic wrap(cling wrap).

  6. Lay the baking paper in a frying pan and arrange the rice balls. Cook both sides with medium heat until you smell good aroma of soy sauce. (*If you are using gas stove, please be very careful not to burn it. You can also choose not to use the baking paper but to use oil when grilling. Salad oil or sesame oil are recommended.)

  7. Place some bamboo leaves on a plate or a basket and arrange Yaki Onigiri! Enjoy!

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