Possibly one of the best fusions of Japanese and Italian cuisine we’ve had.

As camping season gears up in Japan, we’re always on the hunt to make the experience even better than the last year. That means we look for the best gear, the best camping sites, and even the best recipes. We love to try out camping YouTuber Ken Outdoor Cooking’s recipes, so our Japanese-language reporter Masanuki Sunakoma decided to try out a new one: an Italian-style meat-wrapped onigiri with tomato and mozzarella.

▼ Here’s the original video from Ken Outdoor Cooking (Japanese only).

And without further ado, here’s how it went when we cooked it!


  • 200 grams (7 ounces) of cooked rice
  • 4 slices of pork belly (or just pork that’s sliced thinly into strips so you can wrap the onigiri with it)
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 50 grams (1.8 ounces) mozzarella cheese, ideally not shredded
  • Basil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil


Step 1: Slice the tomato into four slices, leaving out both of the end pieces.

Step 2: Cut your mozzarella ball into four vertical slices.

Step 3: Lay out a piece of plastic wrap to wrap your onigiri in, then put about 50 grams of your cooked rice on the plastic wrap.

Step 4: Put a tomato slice on top of the rice.

Step 5: Add two of the mozzarella slices.

Step 6: Season with basil, salt, and pepper.

Step 7: Top it with another 50 grams of your cooked rice, then wrap it into a ball to create an onigiri shape.

Step 8: Repeat steps 1 through 8 to create your second onigiri.

Step 9: Lay out your pork belly slices flat, then season them with salt and pepper.

Step 10: Remove the plastic wrap from your two rice balls, then wrap them with two slices each of pork belly.

Step 11: Put some olive oil in a frying pan and turn on medium heat. Add your onigiri to the frying pan.

Step 12: When the pork is cooked well and browned, flip it over. Make sure all sides are well-cooked!

If you’re bothered by the grease that comes out as the pork cooks, soak it up with some paper towels.

Tongs come in handy when you have to cook the sides.

Step 13: When the pork is fully cooked, remove from frying pan and cut in half.

Once you plate it up, it’s ready to eat!

This is a great onigiri for times when you’re really hungry. Masanuki’s came out gigantic, so he wants you to be prepared for a hearty meal. As you can see below, he could barely pick it up with his chopsticks.

Despite it being a bit tricky to eat, he thought it was delicious! Admittedly, you wouldn’t know where the Italian influences came in until you actually cut it in half, but it’s a good idea anyway. He thinks it would be even more delicious with some garlic slices in there.

So if you’re looking for a super filling outdoor meal or a unique dish to make at a barbecue, Masanuki wholeheartedly recommends this! Even if cooking isn’t your strong suit, he’s confident that anyone can make this.

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