Monday, August 1, 2011

Sasha's Kitchen: Stuffed Teriyaki Rice Balls (Yaki Onigiri)

Today's recipe / blog post is my attempt at some Japanese street food. It all started when I had some delicious stuffed Mimi & Coco teriyaki balls at Smogasburg in Williamsburg a couple weeks ago.  They were so good that I educated myself a bit about this Japanese street food before trying to make my own. They're based on Yaki Onigiri, or fried Japanese rice balls that are the quintessential Japanese street food. Here's a sample of a traditional Onigiri recipe that I found on another blog.  I can't way this was a success in full but it was a good first step, as they still pale in comparison to the stuffed Onigiri at Mimi & Coco that I tasted.

Sasha's Stuffed Yaki Onigiri
cooked sushi rice (I started with 1.5 cups uncooked rice)
1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar
teriyaki sauce
1 lb ground grass fed beef

Top prepare this, first I cooked the beef for the inside of the teriyaki balls. I added about a quarter cup of teriyaki sauce and cooked until the beef was done and had a nice teriyaki flavor. Then, the beef cooled to room temperature while I prepared the rice. Once the sushi rice was done, I seasoned it with a bit of the rice wine vinegar, the same was as making sushi rice. 

When working with the rice for this recipe, make sure your hands are wet, as the rice is very sticky. Using your hands, shape some rice around a teaspoon or so of the ground beef which you should place in the center. Add some more rice and form a nice sized ball. Because of the stuffing, these will be a bit larger than traditional Japanese rice balls.  Continue to make a whole bunch of rice balls with the teriyaki beef filling. 

After you have formed the onigiri, it's time to grill them up. This is the tricky part - a couple of mine did fall apart but the rest did stay in tact. I think I can improve on this next time. Using a cast iron skillet, add a small amount of oil and grill on each side until it forms a crisp skin and are lightly browned - over medium heat. When all sides are grilled, brush on a layer of teriyaki sauce using a pastry brush.  Then grill all sides again. Serve hot!



  1. Thank you for writing about us!
    I can tell you our favorite onigiri :))

    Mimi & Coco NY

  2. Wow, I never thought of using teriyaki sauce to make Onigiri, looks delicious! Thanks for the recipe, I will try this out!


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