A tricky food made easy with our favorite cooking tool!

Surely you’ve tried an onigiri by now…but have you tried a yaki-onigiri? Made with the same ingredients as a standard rice ball but grilled to have a nice, crispy exterior, this leveled-up version of everyone’s favorite portable snack is popular with adults and kids alike. But making them at home is tricky because they tend to either collapse on the grill or stick to the grates, making it impossible to get a whole rice ball with a crispy exterior.

Luckily, our favorite camp cooking YouTuber, Ken Outdoor Cooking, has a solution for us. The trick, it turns out, is using a hot sandwich maker, which is one of our favorite tools for easy cooking and camp meals. We followed his recipe for Salmon & Cheese Grilled Rice Balls, and it came out great!

300 grams (10.6 ounces) of cooked rice (about two bowls’ worth)
Salmon flakes to taste
Shredded cheese to taste
A pinch of salt
Soy sauce to taste
8 grams (about 1/2 tablespoon) of butter


Step 1: Combine all the rice into one bowl, then add the pinch of salt and mix.

Step 2: Lay out a rectangle of plastic wrap, then place about half the rice on it.

Then, add salmon flakes on top fo the rice…

And sprinkle on cheese as desired.

Step 3: Squeeze into a triangle shape. Make it on the firmer side, so that it will be less likely to fall apart while grilling.

Repeat with the rest of the rice.

Step 4: Baste your hot sandwich maker with butter…

And set the rice balls inside.

Step 5: Drizzle the rice balls with soy sauce. Here, we’re using a spray bottle to get a nice even coating, which is an excellent shortcut. Once you’ve done one side, gently close the hot sandwich maker, flip it, and do the other side.

Step 6: Close the hot sandwich maker with the rice balls inside, and cook on low heat for three minutes.

After 3 minutes, check to see how they’re doing, then flip and grill the other side for three minutes.

Then, grill each side for an additional minute. Continue checking the status of your rice balls to prevent them from burning and to ensure they get that nice, crispy exterior that yaki-onigiri are loved for.

When they’re done, serve them on a plate…

And enjoy!

The hot sandwich maker made it so easy to grill both sides to a nice crispy texture, and it made it smell absolutely divine. The combination of butter and grilled soy sauce made our mouths water.

The flavors of the ingredients were also delightful. Salmon flakes are a popular onigiri ingredient, but their umami combined with the salty richness of cheese gave this rice ball a surprising depth of flavor. The crunchy exterior was perfect, and it was a pretty substantial meal, so we felt pretty satisfied after eating it. A simple, plain grilled rice ball is good enough, but this kind of elevation is something we could come back to eat again and again.

Naturally, this recipe will probably also work with other fillings, so definitely give it a try with whatever your favorite rice ball flavors are! As with all of Ken Outdoor Cooking’s recipes, it’s a great, easy camp recipe, but it would also be good as an at-home snack or meal. Why not experiment with different fillings for different meals for yourself?

Source: Ken Outdoor Cooking
Images © SoraNews24

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