If you're a fan of Japanese food and you've never had Onigiri, then it's time to change that. This is a recipe and guide on how to make both typical onigiri and crispy yaki onigiri at home, with an umami rich pork belly filling.


(Makes 8-10 onigiri)

  • 1.5 pound (680g) pork belly, skin off

  • salt to taste

  • small pinch of brown sugar

  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce

  • 2 Tbsp mirin

  • 1 bunch green onion tops, thinly sliced

  • About 5 cups of cooked rice (1200g)



  1. Season your pork belly salt and brown sugar.

  2. You can vacuum seal it and cook in a sous vide at 70 degrees celsius for 8 hours.

  3. Sit on a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack and roast it at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes; then lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

  4. While your pork is cooking, make sure you have your pre-cooked sushi rice ready by washing it and letting it soak in water for 15 minutes; draining and rinsing it until the water comes out clear.

  5. Cook the rice in a rice cooker according to the directions and let it cool just enough to be handled.

  6. Once your belly is cooked, let it cool down and then cut into ½ inch cubes.

  7. In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of neutral oil over medium-high heat. Once it’s very hot, sear your pork to get nice golden brown sides without rendering off too much fat.

  8. Once they’re seared nicely, deglaze in the pan with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of mirin. Reduce that by half and add 1 bunch of sliced green onions.

  9. To assemble, wet your hands with water and take ½ cup of rice and form it into a thick patty with a small dent in the center. Place some of the meat in the center without overstuffing. Carefully close up the hole with the edges of the rice and gently press your ball together.

  10. Top with sesame seeds.

Yaki Onigiri Method:

  1. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of a medium-sized pan. Heat the pan over medium-high heat till extremely hot.

  2. Place the balls in the pan and sear until brown and crispy for about 2-3 minutes. Flip and sear the other side.