Grilled Onigiri Rice Balls in Tea

Ochazuke, a simple but tasty dish that remains a staple in Japanese cuisine. A variation on standard tea over rice, this recipe calls for grilled onigiri rice balls. Switch up the flavor by trying different varieties of tea!

Grilled Onigiri Rice Balls in Tea
Photographed by Manao Okamoto

Recipe by
Junko Takagi


Rice & Noodles





Calorie count is per serving.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 200 g cooked rice (hot)
  • Oolong tea (store-bought), as needed
  • 2 g shiokonbu (shredded; store-bought)
  • 15 g shibazuke pickles
  • Salt, as needed



Prepare a bowl of water, a rice serving bowl and some salt. Put 100 g of rice in the serving bowl. Wet both hands and dab some salt on your fingertips. Rub the salt between your palms. Take the rice and form into a triangle-shaped rice ball. Repeat the process to make another rice ball.


Place a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and lay the rice balls in it. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 3 minutes. Turn over and cook for another 3 minutes. Place the rice balls in individual bowls and top with equal amounts of shiokonbu and shibazuke.


Cook both sides until crisp and golden brown.


Pour the oolong tea into a saucepan, place over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil. Pour equal amounts over each rice ball.