Pork-Rolled Rice Balls

A popular dish of what is called “B Class Gurume” (dishes that are delicious, inexpensive, everyday food). Originally a local delicacy of Miyazaki prefecture, it is popular all over Japan these days.

Pork-Rolled Rice Balls
Photographed by Taku Kudo

Recipe by
Naomi Kijima



Rice & Noodles



Calorie count is per serving.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 16 slices thinly sliced pork belly (for shabu-shabu) (120 g)
  • 250 g cooked rice (warm)
  • 4 shiso leaves

    Shiso, sometimes referred to as perilla, is a Japanese herb with a refreshing fragrance used to garnish or add zest to a wide range of dishes.

  • [A]

    • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp mirin

      Sake made with alcohol and rice-malt, mixed into glutinous rice, then fermented. In Japan, it is used to add luster and to sweeten ingredients.

    • 1 tbsp sake
    • 1 tbsp water
  • Shichimi chili pepper, a pinch

    Mixed chili pepper. The spiciness and fragrance of the chili base is balanced with seven different ingredients: powdered sanshyo pepper, hemp seed, sesame, shiso seed, poppy seed and green laver.

  • Salt



Divide the rice into four equal portions. Moisten one hand and sprinkle with a pinch of salt, then place one portion of the rice on your hand and squeeze, shaping into a cylindrical rice ball. (Repeat with the remaining rice.) Combine the ingredients for [A] to make the sauce.


Line up four slices of pork belly with the width of the rice, overlapping them slightly while lining them up lengthwise, and place a shiso leaf in the center. Place one of the rice balls on top of the pork and roll it up with the pork on the outside. Adjust the shape as needed.


Place the pork rolls in a frying pan with the seams facing down and cook over medium heat. Remove from heat while they are still cooking and use a paper towel to blot off any excess fat, then return to heat, being sure to roll them to brown their entire outside surfaces.


Pour the sauce over the frying pan and turn the pork rolls over. Cook off the liquid and coat with the sauce. Serve sprinkled with shichimi chili pepper.