This is a Japanese rice burger recipe inspired by the MOS Burger “Yakiniku Rice Burger”. Experience this delicious sushi burger without visiting Japan! Japanese BBQ beef marinated in Umami packed marinade, this mouth-watering Sushi burger is easy to make and perfect for pleasing a crowd.
What is a Sushi Burger (Rice Burger)?
A sushi burger is a hybrid of traditional Burgers. Where traditional burgers use bread buns, sushi burgers use Onigiri rice balls shaped like buns instead of the classic Onigiri rice balls’ triangular shape. The rice buns are either seasoned with sushi vinegar the same as you make sushi rice or plain cooked rice.
Okay, But What is Yakiniku?
Yaki means grilled and niku is meat in Japanese. So Yakiniku is grilled meat or BBQ’d meat. Often the meat used for Japanese BBQ is beef grilled with vegetables such as sliced onions, peppers, and corns. Furthermore, the Japanese eat grilled beef with a dipping sauce called “tare”. There are various tares you can purchase or make in Japan. Read more about this in my Japanese food Terminology post.
Where Did the Sushi Burger Originate?
It is believed that the rice burger was first served in 1987 at a Japanese fast-food chain “MOS Burger” in Japan. The concept of using rice to replace burger bread buns was sensational at the time and it gained popularity rapidly and widespread in many Asian countries. The MOS burger still serves its original and staple Yakiniku rice burgers along with popular Kakiage Rice burgers. Apparently, MacDonalds Japan has just started to serve rice burgers which spun Japanese people into a frenzy according to CNN.
How to Make Your Own Rice Burger?
- Gather the right ingredients
- Cook rice accordingly with your rice cooker or if you don’t have a rice cooker see my post “How to cook rice the Japanese way“.
- While the rice is being cooked (It will take about 30 – 40 minutes), marinade thinly sliced beef for at least 20 minutes.
- Shape rice buns. I use cling wrap to compress the rice then use about a 4 inch (11cm) cookie cutter similar to what I used to make homemade gyoza wrappers to make uniformly sized rice buns.
- Cook fillings. I filled with Yakiniku but you can fill with something else if you like, some suggestions are below.
- Fry the rice buns for crispiness and brush with soy sauce.
- Assemble all together.
Tips On How To Make Rice Burger Buns That Will Not Fall Apart
The rice needs to be especially sticky for the burger bun. Therefore it is important to choose the right rice to cook. You need to choose short-grain Japonica rice such as Koshihikari. I even added sticky mochi rice for extra stickiness so that it holds the rice burger buns together. It is called Mochigome in Japanese but on the package, it says Sweet Rice in English (though it is not sweet at all). If you can not get mochi rice you can add Katakuriko potato starch to hold the rice grains together after the rice has been cooked.
What to Serve with?
- Crispy Renkon(Rotus Roots) Chips – for sushi rice burgers, crispy renkon chips suit better than potato chips.
- Sushi ginger Gari – Try pickled ginger. It will cleanse your pallet better than pickled gherkins.
Other Filling Suggestions
- Kakiage – if you make Kakiage with vegetables only, you can make vegan or vegetarian sushi burger.
- Chicken Katsu
- Teriyaki Chicken
- Teriyaki Rice Burger
- Pork Shogayaki
Bonus : How to Make Burger Wrappers
Bonus! These rice buns are sticky enough that the grains stay together but wrapping the Yakiniku burgers together with wrappers will add extra support and make it easier to hold and eat. Mos Burgers have these wrappers too. So this is how I made the wrappers. I bought 25 sheets of wax papers for A$2.80. The paper is 218mm x 250mm in size. I fold them in half and then cut as the following photo shows. Fold the side excess paper on the wrapper and apply sticky tape. Done!
A: This recipe for rice buns hold the shape well, so you can eat them the same as you eat bread bun burgers. Especially with the sushi burger wrappers, you will have no problem to eat.
A: Yes. You can store all parts separately. Store rice buns individually wrapped with cling wrap. It will keep in the freezer for a month. Defrost naturally in room temperature and assemble with freshly made fillings.
A: You can get sushi rice and sweet rice from Japanese grocery stores or Asian grocery stores or of course online stores.
If you made and liked this Sushi Burger with Yakinku, please leave comment below and rate the recipe.
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Yakiniku Rice Burger
- 1 cup sushi rice
- 1/2 cup sweet rice *1
- 125 g beef
- 1 tbs sesame oil for cooking beef
- lettuce leaves to serve
- 1/2 tbs soy sauce
- 3 tbs soy sauce
- 2 tbs sugar
- 1/4 tsp sesame oil
- 1/8 tsp Tobanjan
- 1 tbs miso paste
- 1 tsp white roasted sesame seeds
- Cook the rice according to your rice cooker instructions and allow it to cool down.
- Measure each rice bun to 80 g (2/3 cup) and using cling wrap, make the rice ball then flatten them by pressing into a mold to 1cm thick. Set aside. Make 4 rice buns. *2
- Slice the beef very thinly. *3
- Combine all marinade ingredients (soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, tobanjan, miso paste, and sesame seeds) together in a bowl and marinate the thinly sliced beef for about 20 minutes.
- Heat 1 tbs of sesame seed oil in a frying pan over medium heat and cook the marinated beef till the beef is brown.
- Heat a non-sticking frying pan over medium heat and brown the surface of rice buns by first brushing with soy sauce. When the rice surface is browned and hardened a little bit turn the heat off.
- Place the bottom rice bun on a plate and top with lettuce leaves. Place the beef on top of the lettuce and top with another layer of lettuce. Place another rice bun on top of it.
- Serve with Renkon Chips and enjoy