• Preparation
    30 minutes
  • Cook Time
    20 minutes
  • Serves
  • Difficulty

Behind the Recipe

Snack like a Warrior

Yah-kee oh-nee-ghee-ree. A traditional Japanese snack so tasty that actual samurai would wrap them in bamboo and grill them up while out on patrol. Simple, satisfying, and seriously delicious, the main ingredient you’ll need is Japanese short grain rice, also known as “sushi rice”, which can be found at most grocery stores and any Asian specialty market.

Assembling your yaki onigiri can be tricky at first, but with patience (and a little bit of practice), soon you’ll be pumping out grilled rice balls with the best of them.



  • 5 cups Japanese short grain rice, cooked
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Soy sauce


  1. Cook Japanese short grain rice according to package instructions using either a rice cooker or cast iron pot on your stovetop.
  2. Add 1 cup of cooked rice to a small bowl while rice is still warm. A cereal bowl works great!
  3. On a stable surface, use an open hand to rapidly move the bowl in a flat, circular motion until the rice forms into a ball on its own. Pretty sweet, huh?
  4. Wet your hands and add salt to each of your palms, then form your rice into an oval or triangular shape by cupping and gently squeezing. Be careful not to over compact the rice. Use just enough force so that the rice ball won’t fall apart.
  5. Repeat this process until you have 5 evenly shaped yaki onigiri rice balls ready for the grill.
  6. Optional: Brush the outside of each rice ball with soy sauce for extra caramelization and flavor.

Cooking Instructions

  1. 1

    Set up your Nexgrill for medium, direct heat. About 350 degrees.

  2. 2

    Place rice balls on the perimeter of your grill, and monitor closely with your grill lid open.

  3. 3

    Use tongs to carefully turn rice balls until each side reaches a crispy golden-brown.

  4. 4

    Plate and serve immediately with plenty of soy sauce and sriracha for dipping.

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