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Crispy Rice Bombs

Crunchy, sticky, salty goodness… What could be more delicious than these quick and easy Japanese-inspired crispy rice bombs?


Perfect for a picnic, snack, or bento box, we just can’t get enough of these delicious rice balls! Perfectly balanced, crispy and crunchy, these rice bombs come together in less than 15 minutes, and with just 10 ingredients

These onigiri-inspired Japanese Crispy Rice Bombs are loaded up with wasabi flecked avo smash, diced cucumber and loads of crispy crunchy bits. The combo is utterly addictive and much easier to throw together than traditional sushi.  We build even more flavour and texture by giving the bombs a brush with vegan-friendly Kikkoman teriyaki, and searing the balls in a dry pan until the rice turns deliciously crispy and golden.

If you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. To view our recipe video on Instagram click here. Happy cooking!


Frequently Asked Questions

Is this gluten-free?

This recipe can be adapted to gluten free with a few simple changes. Rice is naturally gluten-free, however many brands of soy sauce, teriyaki sauce and some of our suggested toppings are not. Check the labels and opt for alternatives to suit your dietary needs. Many large brands now carry gluten free soy and teriyaki. Tempura scraps, and onion crisps, can be swapped out for more peanuts, sprouts and crispy seaweed. 

Is this dish vegan?

Absolutely! Choose a furikake free from animal products and opt for vegan-friendly mayo for even more umami deliciousness.



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Crispy Rice Bombs

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  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 15 Minutes
  • Yield: 12 - 14
  • Diet: Vegan


These bombs are perfect for any time of the year and travel well, making them great additions to your packed lunch or picnic.



Crispy Rice Bombs: Makes 12-14 Rice Bombs

  • 2 cups cooked sushi rice
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce*
  • 1 avocado
  • 12 tsp wasabi paste, added to taste
  • 1/2 a small Mediterranean cucumber, deseeded and diced into small cubes
  • salt as needed

Crispy garnishes: Choose one or all five

  • 3 Tbsp crispy shallots (available at most supermarkets in the salad section)
  • 2 Tbsp sesame & seaweed furikake seasoning
  • 3 Tbsp crispy tempura scraps (available at most Asian supermarkets)
  • 30g or 1/4 cup colourful sprouts
  • 3 Tbsp chopped roasted peanuts

Optional: Extras for serving

  • a generous drizzle of kewpie mayo or a vegan-friendly mayo
  • sweet soy
  • Togarashi spice (a spicy seasoning found at most Asian grocers)

*Many brands now sell vegan-friendly teriyaki, made without honey. We used Kikkoman teriyaki for this recipe. 


  1. Wet your hands to stop the rice from sticking to them, and shape the cooked sushi rice into golf ball-sized pieces. Place the rice balls onto a lightly oiled cookie tray, to prevent them from sticking.
  2. Press the rice balls slightly, to flatten them into a slight puck shape, to ensure they can get a nice crispy base and top once pan-fried.
  3. Place the avocado in a bowl, with 1 tsp of wasabi and lightly mash into chunky guacamole. Season the avo smash, and add more wasabi if that’s your preference. Set the avo aside until needed.
  4. Wash and deseed the cucumber with a teaspoon, until only the solid flesh and skin remain. Slice the cucumber into thin, long strips, then dice finely into roughly 1-2mm pieces. Lightly salt the cucumber, and set it aside. The salt will draw out excess moisture and improve the taste and consistency.
  5. Place a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the rice balls to the pan, and cook until the base is golden and crisp. Flip the balls and continue cooking to crisp the other side. Repeat the process until all the balls are cooked. After pan-frying, brush the tops with teriyaki.
  6. Place the rice balls on a serving tray. Drain off any liquid from the salted cucumber.
  7. Add blobs of avo wasabi smash and about 1 tsp of diced cucumber to each bomb. Repeat until all the rice bombs are loaded up. Finish the rice balls by scattering over your crunch element/elements of choice. Serve immediately alongside more teriyaki or soy for dipping.

Optional sauces and spices for garnishing:

  1. Drizzle the finished rice bombs with sweet soy, sushi mayonnaise or sprinkle over spicy togarashi seasoning for a mellow kick of heat.
  2. If prepping the rice bombs in advance or for a picnic, add a generous squeeze of lime to the avo puree, which will slow down the discolouring of the avocado smash.
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Category: Vegetarian
  • Method: Fry
  • Cuisine: Japanese-inspired


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 71.83kcal
  • Sugar: 1.58g
  • Sodium: 345.59mg
  • Fat: 2.12g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.32g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3.33g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 10.86g
  • Fiber: 1.07g
  • Protein: 1.67g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
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