And there’s one secret ingredient you just can’t leave out. 

If you’ve never eaten a grilled rice ball, known as yaki-onigiri in Japanese, you’re missing out. Like a regular rice ball, they’re the perfect snack for when you’re just a little bit hungry, with the addition of a delightfully sweet and salty flavor afforded by being dressed with soy sauce before grilling.

Of course, we at SoraNews24 are experts at making our favorite foods even better by experimenting in weird ways, like grilling our favorite Mr. Donut donuts. That’s why we were brainstorming ways to make grilled rice balls an even tastier snack. But it turns out we didn’t have to think at all, because Nichirei Foods, one of the most popular brands of frozen yaki-onigiri, has a unique recipe for reimagining a grilled rice ball.

It’s called the “Yaki-onigiri Tempura”.

Yes, that’s correct: we have found a method to deep-fry rice balls, and you can bet that we immediately tried it.

The recipe calls for the following ingredients:

・Frozen Yaki-Onigiri
・Tempura flour
・Aonori (green seaweed flakes)
・Oil (for frying)

The first step is to defrost the grilled rice balls according to the package instructions.

While the microwave is doing its thing, mix the tempura flour with some water according to package directions, stirring to combine, then add the aonori.

This will serve as the batter for our deep-fried yaki-onigiri.

Coat each rice ball in the batter. This was a bit of a bizarre experience for us, having mostly fried ordinary things like vegetables or meat, but we were excited about the prospective end result.

Heat the oil to 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit), then gently place the rice balls coated in the batter into the hot oil. Fry on both sides and try not to drool too much at the sound of them sizzling.

Once they’re fried nice and crispy, remove them from the pan and allow them to drain any excess oil on a paper towel or a metal rack.

Once they’ve cooled and are ready to eat, line them up neatly on a plate, and impress your friends and family with your cooking prowess!

They were really easy to make. The process was no different from making regular tempura, and hardly required any ingredients.

And the taste…! The crispy, crunchy outer layer had the best texture, and the aonori provided the perfect seafood accent that tied all of the flavors together. A sweet and salty soy-based sauce over soft and fluffy rice is an amazing yet classic combination, but that beachy flavor from the aonori made it a thousand times better. If you’re going to make this dish, don’t skip the aonori!

This was a super easy dish that anyone can make, and it’s also a great introduction to working with hot oil if you’ve never tried that before. Yaki-onigiri Tempura could be the perfect snack for when you’re feeling a might peckish for something fried, so definitely give these a try!

And if you’re looking for other easy recipe ideas, look no further than our other SoraKitchen articles, where we try everything from french toast made with ice cream to camp-friendly cheesy carbonara.

Source: Nichirei Foods
Images © SoraNews24

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