Smoked Szechuan Pork and Mushroom Onigiri

Smoked rice balls full of spicy pork and mushrooms. Bursting with flavor and aroma, these onigiri are fit for a king!

Smoked Szechuan Pork and Mushroom Onigiri

Recipe by
Yuji Wakiya




Rice & Noodles



Calorie count is for full recipe.
Excludes time needed to soak the konbu and Chinese pickled vegetables.


  • 360 ml rice (hot) (2 rice measuring cups)
  • 30 g ground pork
  • 30 g maitake mushrooms

    *Remove the tough white base and separate into pieces.

  • [Soup]

    • 500 ml water
    • 10 g konbu kelp
    • 20 g Chinese pickled vegetables (minced)
    • 10 g skipjack shavings
  • [A]

    • 1 tsp doubanjiang
    • A small amount of garlic (minced)
  • [B]

    • 1 tsp sake
    • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • [C]

    • 10 g rice
    • 5 g sugar
    • 3 g oolong tea leaves



Prepare the [Soup]. Pour the water into a bowl and soak the konbu and Chinese pickles overnight. Empty the bowl into a pot and place over low heat. Remove the konbu and pickles just before the water comes to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the skipjack shavings. Allow the shavings to sink to the bottom, then drain.


Stir-fry the ground pork in a non-stick frying pan placed over low heat. When the meat changes color, add [A], the Chinese pickles from the [Soup], [B] and the maitake mushrooms, in that order.


Empty the rice into a bowl and combine with the seasoned ground pork. Divide into 60 g portions and form into cylindrical shapes. Heat a separate frying pan over medium heat and grill the rice balls until all sides are golden brown.


Cut a piece of aluminum foil into a circle about 10 cm across. Thoroughly combine [C] and spread evenly over the foil.


Place the foil in a Chinese wok and heat for 2 minutes at high heat. Once the sugar has melted and starts to smoke, reduce the heat to low. Place a rack over the foil and arrange the onigiri on top. Cover with a metal bowl and smoke for about 30 seconds.


Put the onigiri on the rack as soon as the sugar starts to melt. A metal bowl will serve as a handy cover. 30 seconds is enough to create a delicious smoky flavor and aroma. Repeat the smoking process if the rack isn't large enough to hold all the onigiri.


Place the onigiri in a bowl and top with the hot [Soup] for an exquisite ochazuke loaded with umami!