Yaki Onigiri with Miso & Butter

Yaki Onigiri with Miso & Butter

Yaki Onigiri with Miso & Butter Recipe

Ever heard of this dish before? Yaki Onigiri are delicious Japanese grilled riceballs, and because you grill them, you’ll get a nice and crispy layer of rice on the outside. Like many Japanese dishes, this recipe focuses on the pure flavors of the ingredients. They’re simple, but they pair really well! Yaki onigiri come in many different variations and flavors, but I decided to try out grilling them with miso & butter.

Since my boyfriend tested positive for covid this week, we’ve been self-isolating. Because of that, I had to get a little more creative for coming up with a recipe and see if I could cook something up with what we had laying around the house. Luckily, I always have loads of Asian ingredients in stock, and most of them keep for a very long time as well. That’s how I came up with this recipe for Japanese grilled riceballs with miso & butter.

Makes: 6 – 8 rice balls   |  Prep Time: 10 mins  |  Cool Time: 30 mins  |  Cook Time: 20 mins  | 
Total: 1 hour
Cooking & Kitchen Supplies: rice cooker (optional: medium cooking pot)  |  food brush  |  clinging film  medium to large skillet


  • 300g short-grained (sushi) rice
  • 60ml rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 sheet of nori (dried seaweed)

Sushi rice will get really sticky after cooking it. Which is great for being able to keep its shape, but it also means it will stick to everything else – especially your hands – if you’re not careful. That’s why using cling film to shape your rice is an absolute life hack!

How to make your own Grilled Riceballs with Miso & Butter

  1. Pour the rice in the rice cooker. Wash your rice a couple of times and drain it.
  2. Fill the rice cooker with 550ml of water for cooking the rice. Set it to cook.
  3. Turn off the rice cooker as soon as the rice is done, don’t leave it on warm. Leave the rice in the rice cooker for another 30 minutes with the lid on to let it cool off a bit.
  4. Transfer the rice from the rice cooker to a big bowl. Add the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt to the rice and mix, making sure it coats all of the rice grains.  
  5. Grab a (square) piece of cling film and lay it down flat. Add the rice in the middle, on top of the cling film and lift the edges to fold a pouch. Now you can easily shape the riceballs in triangles without them sticking to your hands. Don’t worry too much about the shape being perfect, what matters most is that you apply some pressure so that they won’t fall apart when grilling them.
  6. Mix the miso paste, mirin, and soy sauce in a small bowl.
  7. Melt some butter in your skillet, when it’s fully melted, add the onigiri. Grill the onigiri for about a minute on each side until the rice becomes nice and crispy.
  8. Brush the miso paste onto the top of the onigiri – a little goes a long way – and then flip it so that the miso gets grilled for a bit. Now you can brush the other side, and flip it once more. The miso only needs a couple of minutes to grill in total.
  9. Transfer the onigiri from the pan onto a plate or wire rack to let them cool down a little bit.
  10. Cut long, thick strips of seaweed to fold onto your onigiri. If you cut off a strip of nori from sheet’s shortest side, and cut that in half, it should be big enough to fold from the center, to the center on the other side.
  11. They’re ready to serve! Enjoy them with a cup of green tea or just as is. Itadakimasu!

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