Japanese Yaki Onigiri (Crispy Rice Balls)

Posted by Diana 20/10/2020 0 Comment(s) Recipes,

Japanese Yaki Onigiri (Crispy Rice Balls)

If you love vegan sushi and are looking for an easy recipe try this Japanese Yaki Onigiri!

These mouthwatering rice snacks are made out of cooked and seasoned sushi rice (you can use white or brown rice) that is formed into balls and stuffed with avocado chunks and chopped peanuts. They are then coated with a flavorful dumpling dipping sauce and sesame seeds and finally pan fried until crispy. 

Recipe source: Bianca Zapatka / www.biancazapatka.com



Sushi Rice (can be made ahead)

300g sushi rice (brown or white)

360ml of water

2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp kelp salt

2 nori sheets, chopped into small flakes



1 avocado diced

3 tbsp peanuts finely chopped

2-3 tbsp sesame oil for frying

2-3 tbsp sesame seeds


Dipping Sauce

3 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp agave syrup

1/4 tsp sesame oil



Sushi Rice (can be made ahead)

1. Put the rice in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cool running water until the water runs clear. Then drain well and transfer to a saucepan (or rice cooker). Pour in the water, cover, and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, until the liquid has been completely absorbed by the rice (if it looks too dry, add a few more tablespoons of water). Then remove from the heat and leave covered to steam for another 5-10 minutes. (Tip: Do not disturb the rice while it cooks. Leave the lid closed to ensure even cooking and do not stir!)

2. In the meantime, heat the rice vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small saucepan and stir until the salt and sugar have dissolved.

3. Once the rice is tender, transfer it into a wooden bowl and stir gently to loosen it. (Please be careful not to break the rice grains, otherwise, the rice will become mushy). Drizzle the rice vinegar mixture over it, add the nori flakes, and mix gently to combine. Cover with a damp kitchen towel which will help prevent the rice from drying out. Allow to cool completely.


1. Now place 1 heaped tablespoon of rice on a piece of cling foil, flattening it gently into a round shape. Add 2-3 pieces of avocado and 1 teaspoon of chopped peanuts in the middle. Cover with another tablespoon of rice, seal the foil and form into a ball. Flatten it slightly with your hands, then carefully remove the cling foil. Continue this process with the rest of the rice and filling until everything is used up.

2. Lightly brush the rice balls with the dipping sauce and sprinkle with a little sesame.

3. Heat the sesame oil in a large non-stick pan or skillet or grill. Pan-fry or grill the rice balls on each side for 3-5 minutes, or until the rice forms a crisp skin.

4. Serve warm or cold with the remaining dipping sauce. You can also wrap a small nori sheet around the onigiri so it’s easier to eat warm.

Dipping Sauce

1. Mix all ingredients for the dipping sauce together.