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Vegan Yaki Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls)

Traditionally Japanese stuffed rice balls.
5 from 1 vote
Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese


  • 300 g White Sushi Rice
  • 150 g Black Glutinous Rice
  • 3 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • Oil for frying
  • 4 tbsp Sesame seeds
  • 4 tbsp Tamari sauce
  • 1 tbsp Miso paste
  • 1-2 Garlic cloves
  • min. 2 Green Asparagus
  • min. 3 Firm tofu block
  • 2-3 or Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 1/2 Avocado


Cook Black Glutinous Rice

  • Rinse the rice under cold water.
  • Add 150 g. rice to a pot or a rice cooker and add 275 g. of water and cook for 30-35 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is soft.

Cook Sushi Rice

  • Rinse the rice under cold water well, until the water comes out transparent to remove the access starch and flour from the polishing process
  • Add 300 g. of the well-rinsed rice to a pot or a rice cooker with 400 ml. of water or to make it easy - just see that the water level is 1 cm. above the rice level. Or follow the instructions on the sushi rice package.
  • Cook the rice until all the water is absorbed and it is soft.

Prepare the Fillings

  • Preheat the oven for 180 C(356F) with circulating air or 200C (292F) without
  • In a small bowl mix pressed or minced garlic with tamari and miso paste; This is the marinade for vegetables and tofu
  • Trim the asparagus ends about 2 cm., chop the mushrooms into quarters or small pieces, and cut tofu into small cubes
  • Lay the parchment paper into the baking tray and brush the asparagus generously with the marinade
  • Place mushrooms and tofu into the rest of the marinade and mix gently to coat well and let them absorb the marinade
  • Roast the vegetables and tofu in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Prepare the Rice for the Balls

  • Once your rice is ready transfer it to the wooden or glass bowl to let it cool, add 1 tbsp. of apple cider or rice vinegar, 1 tbsp. of a sesame seed, 1/2 tsp. of salt to the black rice
  • Do the same with the white rice, but add 2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp. of sesame seeds, and 1 tsp. of salt to the white rice and mix well.

Make the Rice Balls

  • Prepare a bowl with water to keep hands wet while dealing with rice
  • Take around 2 tbsp. of rice into a palm of your hand and form a firm ball
  • To stuff, the filling inside the ball, create a hole with your finger, stuff the small piece of mushroom, asparagus, avocado or tofu inside and close the ball firmly with a little more rice
  • To create classic Japanese triangular shapes - place the rice onto one palm of your hand straightened up, while the second one is banned in an arch and form the balls in a triangular shape (see photos).

Toast The Rice Balls On a Pan

  • Once all the rice balls are ready, preheat a pan on medium-high heat, brush a little bit of oil of choice on the pan
  • Brush the sides of the rice balls with some tamari or soy sauce and toast them until the sides are crispy! (around 3 minutes on each side). It is not necessary to toast them on all the sides, 2-3 sides would be enough for optimal crispiness.
  • Eat them hot and enjoy it!
Keyword dinner, gluten-free, quick lunch, snacks, sugar-free, vegan