Roasted Rice Balls (Onigiri Yaki)

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 0 mins

These are so yummy! I haven't tried the miso one (yet! But once I get my paws on some miso paste. . .), but the soy sauce ones are fantastic. This is fairly typical bar food in Japan from what I have read online, but it also makes for good lunchbox food or a side dish for a Japanese inspired dinner. You can also make a bunch of these and freeze them for up to a month. This recipe comes from Bento Boxes: Japanese Meals To Go by Naomi Kijima - hence the single serving size. Cooking time does not include time to cook rice. I posted photos to try and make clear the grill, flip, brush, flip, brush, flip, done routine. Hope this helps. :)

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 14 ounces cooked short-grain rice (about 2 c., hot)
  • 2 teaspoons miso
  • 1 teaspoon sake, divided
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce


  1. Form the rice into four disk shapes. This is a lot easier if you keep a bowl of cool salt water next to you to dip your hands into before forming each ball.
  2. Combine the miso with 1/2 t. of the sake and set aside. Combine the soy sauce with the rest of the sake and set aside.
  3. Brush one side of each onigiri with oil and place oil side down in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Brush the other side of the onigiri with oil.
  4. Once the first side has started turning golden, turn onigiri over. Brush miso mixture on two of the onigiri and the soy sauce mixture on the other two.
  5. When the second side has started turning golden, turn over again so that the first side (with miso or soy mix) is down on the pan. Brush the second side with miso and soy sauce mixtures (making sure the sides match).
  6. When the first side has browned well (kind of a caramel color for the soy sauce ones), turn and let the second side brown.
Most Helpful

I make these for bentos, but I just use soy sauce--no miso or sake. Here's a tip I picked up from Make a bunch, cool a bit, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, place in a freezer bag or container, and freeze. To use, do not thaw first--just microwave (still wrapped) for a few seconds. Otherwise, it will be hard and nasty! But if you microwave it until just soft and warm, then toss it into your bento, it will be lovely!

Halcyon Eve August 23, 2008

Mine fell apart when I flipped them... I tried again with sticky sushi-like rice, but those were even less cooperative. Still tasted great though!

SAHS October 01, 2010

Very good and tasty! I made them using only miso and not soya sauce and it was very tasty. I had some trouble making them and then fliping them but the taste was excellent. Next time it will be easier I think. Thanks for posting this wordeful recipe!

katia September 11, 2008