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Yaki Onigiri(Japanese Rice Balls)

Yaki Onigiri are Japanese rice balls that are pan-grilled / pan fried and glazed in savory soy sauce. With a crispy crust on the outside and tender rice on the inside, these rice balls are simply irresistible and easy to make. Yaki Onigiri is stuffed with a variety of fillings and flavors, Onigiri, or Japanese Rice Balls, make an ideal quick snack and a fun alternative to sandwiches for lunch. Onigiri, also known as o-musubi or rice ball, is a Japanese food staple that you can find in Japanese restaurants or grocery stores. It’s an easy way to transport rice and this makes it the perfect on the go snack! In this recipe, you‘ll learn how to make onigiri using common ingredients for rice balls in Japan. Traditionally, onigiri is made by dipping your hands in salt water and forming the rice balls manually. However, I prefer using onigiri molds because it makes the rice balls uniform in shape and size, and it’s less of a mess! Yes, you can fill onigiri with whatever your heart desires, but I filled these onigri with tuna and dressed it with my DivineKuizine Remoulade Sauce and Gochujang to create a Japanese inspired mayonnaise .

Yaki Onigiri Japanese Balls
Yaki Onigiri

Pan fry  Onigiri
Yaki Onigiri with Nori

PREP TIME: 15mins

COOK TIME: 30minutes

TOTAL TIME:45 minutes

SERVINGS: 10-12 onigiri (with a mold)


For the Steamed Rice

  • 2 cups Sushi Rice or Japanese short-grain white rice

  • 2½ cups water

Seasoning for Rice

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 11/2 tsp salt

  • chili pepper

For the Onigiri

Tuna Mayo Filling

Glaze for Onigiri

  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce


  • Pre Rice seasoning in a sauce pan add vinegar , sugar and salt boil on medium low heat until sugar has dissolved. set aside

  • After cooking rice, add the rice seasoning to the rice. Taste the rice and adjust if you want more seasoning. Remember that you will also be adding filling with the rice so you don’t want to over season.

  • Tuna filling: In a small bowl, add the canned tuna, DivineKuizine remoulade sauce , and  Gochujang and mix together. I add about 1 ½ tsp of tuna filling into my onigiri.

  • With an Onigiri Mold: Fill the onigiri mold with the seasoned rice and 2 tsp of tuna and more rice on top of the tuna make sure the rice is all the way to the top edge, making sure to fill the corners. Cover with the lid and push down firmly. Remove the lid. Flip over the mold onto a baking sheet or plate lined with parchment paper. Then, push the “button” on the mold‘s bottom to release your onigiri. Tip: Always dip your fingers in water before touching the onigiri to prevent the rice from sticking to them.

  • Pan frying Yaki onigiri on medium-low heat until crispy and golden on both sides.

  • Brush the soy sauce glaze on the Yaki onigiri rice balls and sear the brushed surface. Be careful not to burn.

  • Garnish with sesame seeds and wrap with a small rectangle of nori, and serve immediately. Meshiagare: “bon appétit” !

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