Umami Mart Registry

Yaki Onigiri BBQ

My signature dish for a BBQ has always been Yaki Onigiri (grilled rice balls). It's usually something no one else is bringing, and everyone loves them, from the out of towner in-laws to the cousin's anti-social tween.

My mom taught me how to make onigiri. I don't remember exactly how she explained to me how to make and shape onigiri, but I'm guessing that most of it was just staring at her making them year after year. I take pride in the fact that I can make onigiri after onigiri uniformly using my two hands. But I know that everyone did not have the opportunity to watch their mom make onigiri day after day in the kitchen.

I introduced a Yaki Onigiri recipe in my zine, Japanify, but many have told me that it's hard for them to shape the onigiri. So Kayoko and I thought it would be helpful to post a Yaki Onigiri recipe redux post using an onigiri mold. And to make it super easy, we've created a Yaki Onigiri Pack for y'all to get which includes everything you need in one place!

Kayoko was at the helm of shaping all of these Yaki Onigiri on the Fourth of July and she was singing the praises of the mold, saying that it helped her go faster and make them uniform.


2 cups Haiga rice, cooked
2 tbsp Ume Shiso Furikake
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp melted butter (or duck fat)

Onigiri mold

Makes about 8-10 onigiri

1. Cook the rice, fluff and mix with a rice paddle.

Yaki Onigiri BBQ

Yaki Onigiri BBQ

2. Mix in the Ume Shiso Furikake.

Yaki Onigiri BBQ

3. Firmly pack in the rice into the mold.

Yaki Onigiri BBQ

4. Press the lid onto the base of the mold tightly. 

Yaki Onigiri BBQ

Yaki Onigiri BBQ

5. Remove the lid, then using the flap on the back side of the mold, push out the onigiri and line up on the plate. Here you can see the two different sizes that are in the mold pack.

6. Mix the soy sauce and butter in a small bowl.

Yaki Onigiri BBQ

7. Brush the mixture onto each side of each onigiri.

8. Place on a hot grill, until they have a nice char on each side.

Yaki Onigiri BBQ

Yaki Onigiri BBQ

9. Dig in!

Yaki Onigiri BBQ

If you've always felt intimidated to make onigiri because of the shaping process, this Onigiri Mold will be your new best friend. Get that satisfying Yaki Onigiri crunch this summer by making this your new signature dish for BBQs!

Column: Japanify


  • Try brushing on some grease to the grill before placing the onigiri on them.

    Kayoko on

  • Any tips on how to stop them from sticking to the grill?

    Darya on

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