Roasted Rice Balls (Onigiri Yaki)

"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. :)"
photo by Random Rachel photo by Random Rachel
photo by Random Rachel
photo by CraftScout photo by CraftScout
photo by CraftScout photo by CraftScout
photo by CraftScout photo by CraftScout
photo by CraftScout photo by CraftScout
Ready In:


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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • When the first side has browned well (kind of a caramel color for the soy sauce ones), turn and let the second side brown.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Halcyon Eve
    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!
  2. SAHS7930
    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!
  3. katia
    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!
  4. Random Rachel
    Yummy! I ran out of sake, so used water instead. These were awesome! I did have trouble with the first two, since I didn't press them hard enough, but the rest came out perfectly. I also used leftover rice that I reheated :-)
  5. evelynathens
    Loved these! Easy and so tasty. Wonderful accompaniment to various Asian-style chicken dishes I made yesterday. Thanks.


I'm a stay at home mom with two lovely children, a wonderful husband, and 2 hungry roommates. I'm an artist by avocation, and am working to being one by vocation as well. * grins * Just to let everyone know, after a half hour discussion about it, the boys (DH and Roommate) have settled on ratings meanings. I reserve the right to bump up or down a half star a recipe based on the actual recipe and how easy it was, etc. etc. I have to admit, it's been a couple of years since I updated this text and in the meantime, my picky picky DD has flowered into a girl who enjoys California rolls, will give almost everything a try, and in general much less picky than the average 7 year old in this area. DS, at 2 and a half, asks for salad for lunch and then demolishes it. He's a weirdo. :) We try to be very honest and very descriptive with our reviews. And I fully appreciate the same from people reviewing my recipes. Not every family will like every recipe, and sometimes what you didn't like about a recipe, another family will love! :) I also try to be as nice and polite as possible in my reviews. I don't believe there is any reason not to. The only thing that really upsets me enough to be mean is when a poorly written recipe forces me to have to clean my kitchen. ***** - "Scout is not allowed to make this very often because it is highly addictive and will be inhaled on sight!" Dump Cakes, Sweet Salsa Chicken and Wasabi Peanuts are in this category. **** - "This is wonderful and we want to see it again fairly often, a new family favorite." *** - "This is good. We woud eat it again without any changes, but it's not our favorite." ** - "We did not like this very much, but we would eat it again if served it. It would be good if some changes were made. This was really not to our taste." * - "We would eat this again only with a lot of condiments to mask the taste." no stars - Means that I want to say something, but don't wish to post stars. This does not mean it is worse than a one star recipe!! :) I will only post public recipes that I have in fact cooked, and that my family has enjoyed - at least 3 stars on the above scale. All of my photos that I post on the forums are hosted on Flickr. <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src="" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket">
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