Vegan Grilled Onigiri With Japanese-Style BBQ Glaze

Vegan Grilled Onigiri With Japanese-Style BBQ Glaze

Nadine Horn and Jörg Mayer

These traditional Japanese rice balls are slathered in a tangy sauce and grilled until crisp for an irresistible summertime snack.

Break out your grill (or grill pan), because these flavorful, fun Japanese specialties—from VBQ: The Ultimate Vegan Barbecue Cookbook by Nadine Horn and Jörg Mayer—are about to become your new favorite cookout dish.

What you need:

For the Japanese-style barbecue sauce:
¾ cup barbecue sauce
2½ tablespoons dark soy sauce
2½ tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil

For the onigiri:
¾ cup sushi rice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon agave nectar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
¼ sheet nori seaweed, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

What you do:

  1. For the Japanese-style barbecue sauce, into a blender, add all ingredients and blend. Set aside. 
  2. For the onigiri, prepare rice according to instructions on package. Let cool and season with vinegar, agave nectar, and salt.
  3. In a skillet over medium-low heat, toast sesame seeds until fragrant, being careful not to burn. Fold seaweed, parsley, and sesame seeds into rice. Wet your hands, shape seasoned rice into four balls, and mold each rice ball into large triangles.
  4. Brush each triangle with 1 tablespoon Japanese-style barbecue sauce and grill over direct heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until crispy.
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