Recipe Details

Served golden and crisp, these rice cakes (onigiri) are a delicious way to bring Izakaya pub food to your next party. Filled with a vibrant mixture of McCormick® Japanese Seven Spice, sesame, chicken and a tangy quick kimchee, they’re sure to surprise everyone. Sprinkle with a homemade Furikake seasoning and more Quick Kimchee for added layers of taste.

For the Sushi Rice:

  1. Cook sushi rice as directed on package, using 2 1/3 cups water. Fluff with fork then stir in 2 teaspoons of the rice vinegar and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Set aside to cool slightly while preparing filling.

For the Quick Kimchee:

  1. Meanwhile to make the Quick Kimchee, bring remaining rice vinegar and sugar, orange juice, garlic powder, ginger and crushed red pepper to boil in small saucepan. Remove from heat; cool completely. Place cabbage, daikon, green onions and bell pepper in medium bowl. Toss with 1 teaspoon of the sea salt. Pour cooled vinegar mixture over vegetables. Set aside.

For the Chicken Filling:

  1. To make the chicken filling, mix chicken, Japanese Seven Spice and remaining 1/4 teaspoon sea salt in medium bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 6 to 8 minutes or until cooked through. Place chicken in medium bowl. Add mayonnaise and sesame seeds; toss to coat. Finely chop 1 cup of the prepared kimchee. Add to chicken mixture; toss to combine.

For the Rice Balls:

  1. To form the rice balls, scoop about 1/3 cup warm rice into palm of hand and make a deep indentation in rice. Place about 2 tablespoons chicken filling in indentation. Using hands, gently shape rice around filling, forming into a cake (about 3-inches wide and 3/4-inch thick) or a ball, adding additional rice if necessary to enclose filling. Repeat with remaining rice and chicken filling.
  2. Heat remaining oil in same skillet on medium-high heat. Cook rice balls in batches about 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden and crispy.

For Serving:

  1. To serve, sprinkle rice balls with Furikake Seasoning. Strain kimchee, reserving 1/2 cup of the vinegar mixture. Serve rice balls with Quick Kimchee and reserved vinegar mixture for dipping.


This recipe makes 8 servings.

Keep a bowl of cold water nearby when preparing the rice balls.  If your hands get too sticky while forming the rice balls, wet them in the cold water and continue forming the rice balls.

All components of this dish can be made ahead.  Store prepared sushi rice, cooked chicken filling, quick kimchee and reserved vinegar mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator up to 3 days.  Reheat sushi rice before forming rice balls.  Cook and serve rice balls as directed.