Yaki Onigiri (Grilled Rice Balls) w/ Spicy Surimi

Easy peasy Japanese rice balls!

Easy peasy Japanese rice balls!

Yaki Onigiri’s are Japanese grilled rice balls. They can be stuffed with almost anything (chicken, tuna, mince or even avocado and pickles). They are very versatile and what makes these different from your regular sushi roll, is that they’re first glazed with a soy sauce (miso, honey or even BBQ sauce if you wanna go all fusion) and then grilled or cooked in some butter. The outside becomes crispy and caramelized and the inside – depending on what you stuff it with – remains soft. I like to dip mine in some soy sauce annnd wrap them around a nori sheet to get that extra crunch!

The spicy Surimi filling, the soft rice with the crispy outside makes this a heavenly combination - try it out!

The spicy Surimi filling, the soft rice with the crispy outside makes this a heavenly combination - try it out!

My Yaki Onigiri’s are stuffed with a spicy Surimi salad which is packed with flavours such as, garlic and Pimenton powder, sesame oil, wasabi for the kick, lemon juice for the zing and mayonnaise to bring it all together. The spicy salad combined with the rice and crunch is seriously a heavenly combination. I hope you’ll like it too!

Yaki Onigiri (Grilled Rice Balls) w/ Spicy Surimi

  • Prep: 10 min
  • Total: 45 min

  • Fish


NOTE: This makes about 2 big or 4 small Yaki Onigiri’s.

- about 1½ cup of cooked sushi rice (cook according the package instructions)
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- salt to taste

For the filling:
- 6 surimi stickes (shred and finely chopped) or vegan meat

NOTE: if you're using a vegan meat/fish make sure to heat it up first. Then let it cool down before your add the sauces.

- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- ¼ tsp sesame oil
- ¼ tsp Wasabi paste (optional)
- ¼ tsp Pimenton powder
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp chili powder (optional)
- squeeze of lemon juice
- salt & pepper to taste

For the glaze:
- 1 tbsp soy sauce mixed 1 tbsp sweetened soy sauce (zoete ketjap)
- 2 tbsp of butter
- a pan

For garnish:
- dried parsley
- white and black sesame seeds
- chili/Pimenton powder (optional)


  1. Cook the rice according the package instructions. Once cooked, season with rice wine vinegar and let it cool down completely.

  2. Prep your surimi filling by shredding it first in a bowl. Then finely chop it and add the spices + mayo to it. Mix well and let it chill in the fridge.

  3. When the rice is cooled down, rub your hands with oil and make two flat burger/rice patties. Fill one with 1 – 1 ½ tbsp of the surimi filling. Then place the other rice patty on top. Make sure your seal it well and form a nice round burger/ball shape.

  4. Chill the rice balls for about 30 minutes in the fridge so they can firm up a bit.

  5. After 30 minutes, glaze them with the (mixed) soy sauce. Then heat up some butter in a pan and cook them at a time. I’ve cooked each side for about 2-3 minutes until it was brown and slightly crispy. Garnish with parsley, sesame seeds and chili flakes (optional). Enjoy with soy sauce!

    - Use this Surimi filling in a sushi roll as well!

    If you make my recipes please tag me in them and use #thespicedchickpearecipes. I'd love to see what you've made