Updated: Oct 1, 2021
Onigiri is one of the oldest known Japanese foods and is probably as old as rice cultivation itself in Japan.
Nowadays, the Japanese make these at home and also buy them in their millions ready-made from convenience stores. Another perennial favourite is to order them grilled as a final tummy filler when visiting a yakitori bar - these are the ones that are called Yaki Onigiri. But you can also easily make these yourself - when I make Yaki Onigiri, I pan fry them in a hot, slightly oiled pan - about 4 to 5 minutes on each side so that the rice is nicely browned.
No Yaki Onigiri would be complete without a teaspoon or two of soy drizzled over the top before serving. These can be eaten as they are or wrapped in a strip of dried nori. For this recipe, I "cheated" and used an Onigiri mould to shape the onigiri instead of using my fingers. I have to admit an Onigiri mould does produce a perfectly shaped Onigiri and they can be bought quite cheaply. These Onigiri make a perfect snack or you can serve them as the rice component of a larger meal - best of all, they take only minutes to prepare.
If you'd like to try these out, you can find the youtube tutorial by clicking Yaki Onigiri or scroll to the bottom of the page. The written recipe is just below.
Happy cooking! Kurumi XXXX.
If you would like to understand how to create an onigiri without using a mould, take a look at my other onigiri recipes, for example, my Onigiri with Salmon and Spring Onion recipe.
(makes 4 onigiri)
320g cooked Japanese rice* (wet weight)
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
a little vegetable oil
8 tsp soy sauce
onigiri mold (you can buy these quite cheaply if you don’t have one)
a square of kitchen paper
*see my how to make perfect japanese rice recipe
add the sesame seeds & salt to the cooked rice in a bowl, and gently mix
wet the mold lightly , then fill with the rice, put the lid on the mold and press down firmly
tap the mold and knock the onigiri out and repeat again (don’t panic if it doesn’t come out at once - just tap a few more times)
heat and add a little oil to a hot frying pan, wipe the oil around with the pan kitchen paper, so that the pan is almost dry
cook the onigiri for 3-4 mins or until lightly browned on the bottom
turn the onigiri over and cook for a further 3-4 mins
lastly, pour 2 tsp of soy sauce over each onigiri