How to make: Yaki onigiri (grilled glazed rice ball)

How to make: Yaki onigiri (grilled glazed rice ball)

It’s so much fun learning something new everyday. Not just new recipes but also about other countries’ languages and cultures. For instance, I learned yesterday that in Japanese, “yaki” means grilled and “onigiri” means rice ball. That should help me retain the words in my head. And the next time we go to a Japanese restaurant, I’ll know that every dish prefixed with “yaki” is a grilled dish and every one with “onigiri” in its name means it has rice.

Yaki onigiri then is grilled rice ball. I suppose that, traditionally, it would be cooked in a teppanyaki grill but since we don’t own one, I pan-grilled the rice in a cast iron frying pan.

This wonderful recipe is from Nami of Just One Cookbook.

Recipe: Yaki onigiri



  1. Form the rice into triangles. Speedy did this for me because I was busy with the fried chicken. Wet your hands with water. Place about half a cup of rice on one palm. Curve your other hand to form an inverted cone and clamp your two hands together to press and shape the rice. Move the rice about 45 degrees and press again. You want the sides to have flat surfaces because you’re going to grill the rice (Nami has an illustration).
  2. Yaki onigiri
  3. Sam said our pyramids were the wrong shape. I think she’s right.
  4. Sprinkle a tablespoonful of cooking oil on the frying pan. Cook the rice over high heat, turning them every few minutes to brown all sides.
  5. Yaki onigiri
  6. Brush with the sauce and continue cooking until nicely browned and the sauce has caramelized a bit.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2

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  1. says

    Thank you Connie for trying Yaki Onigiri recipe! Rice balls don’t have to be grilled on teppanyaki, but some people use grill rack (or how do you call it…) over stove (to use direct heat) to make it. Great re-use of fried chicken sauce!

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