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Teriyaki Chickpea Yaki Onigiri (Grilled Japanese Rice Balls)

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

Servings: 6 rice balls

Prep Time: 30min

Cook Time: 15min

Yaki Onigiri ("Yaki" means grilled in Japanese) are grilled rice balls with a soy coating or a savoury filling. This tasty traditional and popular Japanese staple is made from white rice formed into triangular or cylindrical shapes and usually wrapped in Nori (Dried edible seaweed used in Japanese cuisine). Onigiri is easily portable and eaten by hand and has been used as a portable food from ancient times to present day. Originally, it was a way to store left-over rice, but it later became a regular meal.

These yummy grilled rice balls have a crispy texture on the outside but soft and fluffy on the inside and are packed with flavour and protein. This recipe is great to make and eat later for a snack or to pack in a lunch.



  • 2 (425g) cans Organic (no added salt) chickpeas

  • 1 (10 sheets) packet Nori for sushi

  • 2 cups uncooked Sushi Rice

  • 2 cups water

  • 30ml Sushi Seasoning *1

  • 1/2 cup Vegan mayo

  • 1Tbsp Teriyaki sauce

  • 1Tbsp Salt reduced soy sauce

  • 2 Tsp minced garlic *2

  • 3 Tbsp of Everything Seasoning *3

  • 1 Tbsp of Cumin

  • Organic Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 Spring Onion cut Julienne

  • 1 Long red chili pepper seeded and finely diced


Step 1:


  1. Cook the rice following the rice preparation instructions on the back of the packet. For this recipe we will be using 2 cups rice and 2 cups water.

  2. While your rice is cooling drizzle 30ml of Sushi seasoning *1 over the rice and sprinkle 3 Tbsp of Everything Seasoning *3 then set aside to cool.

  3. When your rice is ready and finished cooling divide the cooked rice into 6 equal portions (similar size to a red plum).

- This is a great time while your rice is cooking and cooling to start preparing the chickpea filling.

Teriyaki Chickpea Filling

  1. Strain and rinse your chickpeas in a colander.

  2. Separate chickpeas into 2 halves. Place one 1/2 in a food processor and the other in a large bowl for mixing.

  3. In a food processor with 1/2 the chickpeas add 30ml of water and pulse a few times until the consistency is chunky and half blended. Add this mixture to the chickpeas you set aside in a large mixing bowl.

  4. In the large mixing bowl with your chickpea mixture add your 1/2 cup vegan mayo, 1Tbsp teriyaki sauce, 1 Tbsp soy sauce and 1 Tsp ground cumin, julienne spring onion and finely diced long red chili. Combine all ingredients together.

Step 2:

  1. Take the 6 divided portions of cooked rice and make deep thumbprints in each of them.

  2. With your chickpea filling scoop 1-2tsp into each of the 6 divided portions of rice and with your hands shape and firmly squish the rice into triangular shapes. Note: Make sure when you shape the rice that none of the filling is showing on the outside.

  3. Heat a large skillet (I personally like to use a cast iron) over medium heat and add extra virgin olive oil. Note: Make sure your pan is nice and hot before placing cooking to prevent your Onigiri from sticking.

  4. Lightly brush your Onigiri on both sides with a bit of soy sauce and grill for about 1 minute on each side until golden brown and crispy.

  5. When you finish grilling your Onigiri take 1 sheet of Nori and cut into strips and wrap upwards from the base. Dab a little soy sauce onto the nori to help make it stick.

  6. Serve with some garnish and enjoy!


1* I use store bought sushi seasoning in the bottle to save on prep time. The brand I like to use here in Australia is Obento Japanese Seasoning Sushi 250ml. This can be found located in the Asian food section of your local grocer.

2* You can buy minced garlic in a jar from your local grocer to save on time or you can pulse 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic and a little olive oil in a food processor.

3* The Everything Seasoning brand I use here in Australia is "Mingle". It is all natural, plant based, no nasties or added sugar. If this brand is unavailable where you are than any all natural everything seasoning will be just as good.



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