These Yaki Onigiri aka grilled rice balls are a traditional and versatile Japanese side dish or a wonderful snack that can be seen all over Japan - made with a crunchy layer outside and soft and sticky rice inside. These simple rice balls are prepared with sticky rice, covered with tamari soy sauce and then cooked in a cast iron pan on stove or BBQ.

Learn how to make Yaki Onigiri. Yaki Onigiri is a traeditional Japanese grilled rice balls that are easy to make and prepared with only 4 ingredients such as rice, salt, oil and soy sauce.

Since I thought of preparing Yaki Onigiri for our BBQ get together, I was so curious to find more about it as my knowledge of Japanese was limited to Sushi, and we can't get enough of these vegan avocado and mango sushi, but now with the world at your fingertips and being a food blogger I really get excited to know about other cultures and cuisines too. I am delighted to find many vegan and pure vegetarian recipes that I can prepare on my own.

More Soy Sauce Recipes:- Chilli Paneer | Mixed sauce spicy vegetable noodles | Masala Mogo ( Cassava)

For us Yaki Onigiri turned out exceptionally well, to just try it out I made only a few yaki onigiris and we wolfed down in no time. So, there was another excuse to make more ;)

Learn how to make Yaki Onigiri. Yaki Onigiri is a traeditional Japanese grilled rice balls that are easy to make and prepared with only 4 ingredients such as rice, salt, oil and soy sauce.

What is Yaki Onigiri 

Yaki Onigiri is a traditional Japanese rice dish that can be served as side dish or snack. Yaki means grilled and Onigiri means rice ball. In Japan, Yaki Onigiri is go-to-good for anyone. Perfect for picnics, lunch boxes or alfresco dining. Also, it's a classic Izakaya (pub) food for the Japanese

Yaki Onigiri Ingredients 

You'll require only 4 ingredients to make yaki onigiri- short-grain rice, sea salt, oil and soy sauce.

How to make Onigiri 

Onigiri is so simple to make. These are made of traditional lightly salted cooked sticky rice, shaped into a triangle or oval and brushed with savoury soy sauce. Some liked to fill the balls with stuffing then cooked in a frying pan or grilled on BBQ.

What rice do I need to make Onigiri 

To prepare perfect onigiri you'll need traditional good quality Japanese short-grain rice. Sushi rice works fine too. 

How to make Yaki Onigiri at home

Making yaki onigiri at home is not a challenging task, you can involve little kids to form rice balls. Traditional yaki onigiri is made over charcoal (BBQ) grill, which lends smoky flavours and makes rice balls crispier and caramelises outside crust, but these can be cooked in a cast iron pan too. 

Sauce does for Yaki Onigiri 

Usually, Yaki Onigiri is glazed with soy sauce, but you can use miso, tamari soy sauce or unagi sauce which is slightly sweet on taste and that blends well with white rice. 

Can I make Vegan Yaki Onigiri 

Yes, you can. In this recipe 3 ingredients are vegan, make sure your soy sauce is vegan so all can enjoy this tasty and crispy yaki onigiri anytime. 

Is it suitable to freeze Yaki Onigiri 

Yes, Yaki Onigiri is suitable for freezing and it freezes so well.  Just wrap each onigiri individually in cling film before freezing. Once you are ready to eat, reheat in the microwave and don't thaw them on the worktop or refrigerator.

You might want to see our other Japanese recipes

1. Vegan Katsu Curry 

2. Wagamama Katsu Salad Dressing

Do you like to read our blog? Then don't forget to sign up for email updates to get new recipes delivered right to your inbox. You can find us on TwitterFacebookInstagramPinterest. So follow us if you can...We would love to keep in touch with you all:) 

Yaki Onigiri recipe by Yutaka 

yaki onigiri, japanese grilled rice balls, yakionigiri fillings, japanese rice snacks, BBQ yaki onigiri, brownrice yaki onigiri
BBQ Recipes, Japanese BBQ, Rice , Vegan , side dish
Yield: 4 piecesPin it

Yaki Onigiri

prep time: 15 minscook time: 15 minstotal time: 30 mins
Japanese Yaki Onigiri or grilled rice balls are a crunchy, savoury and easy to make.


360 ml Yutaka sushi rice
Big pinch sea salt
3-4 tbsp. oil
Yutuka organic tamari soy sauce


Cook sushi rice according to packet instructions and cool at room temperature.
Wet your hands with water and divide cooked rice into four equal balls and flatten them slightly, shape into a triangle with flattened sides. 
Sprinkle some sea salt on each onigiri (rice cake) and lightly pat it with your hands. 
Heat some oil in a cast iron skillet on your BBQ or Grill and gently cook each onigiri on both sides. 
Try not to turn often, once all the sides are lightly golden brown, transfer it to another plate.
Brush all sides of onigiri with tamari soy sauce and put it back in the skillet to crisp again, making sure not to let the soy sauce stick. 
Serve hot.


Keep a bowl of water near you to keep wetting your hands.
If not using the BBQ grill make these on a stove.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Disclaimer - Thank you Yutaka for sending us these products and BBQ Kit (Not in the picture). I was sent Yutaka Products and BBQ kit for an unbiased review and not told or paid to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.


  1. Never seen or heard such an amazing dish. Will try my hand today. Wish me good luck and thanks for this wonderful recipe.

  2. New snack.. everything looks so perfect . the serving dishes and all.
    The snack looks inviting.

  3. Very innovative recipe Jagu!!! I will try this once Paryushan is over. :)

  4. This looks so pretty and delicious ! Such a visual treat to look at your beautiful pictures ! My kids love Japanese food so I am sure they will love it ! Can't wait to try it.

  5. Like I said on FB this my girls will love! It is a pity we do not get these ingredients here. But if I come to UK will definitely stock up.

  6. What a simple yet an amazing recipe; perfect for the upcoming festive get togethers. Would love to serve as an appetiser. Thanks for the lovely share!!

  7. Looks and sounds so delicious! Such a simple recipe but you have presented it so beautifully, looks so exotic and time consuming!! Fabulous share dear!

  8. totally in love with your plates ...also pleae become my neighbour... id like to trade this for my food...

  9. Looking fabulous. these grilled rice balls looking amazing. your plates also attracting more. Next time bbq event will check with this recipe.

  10. The snack sounds so flavorful and inviting Jagruti ! Lovely props too !

  11. Such a simple yet delicious dish. So beautifully you have explained. Your presentation is beautiful and inviting. Great share!!

  12. Wah wah !!!!! So simple yet an amazing one...... Would love to grab right now ;)
    Such a lovely share!!

  13. I love the way you have all sorts of props. This looks absolutely stunning.

  14. OMG Drooling over the pics.Bookmarking this innovative recipe to try it soon.Thanks for the lovely recipe.


Thank you very much for visiting JCO, We really appreciate your comments and suggestions. The new GDPR law states that whatever comments you leave on our blog will be viewed by everyone who visits JCO and your consent is given to the visitor to view your profile.

We hope to see you again soon, have a great day!