Japanese Pan-Fried Rice Cakes

Japanese pan-fried rice cakes on a plate with dipping sauce

The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
383 Calories
7g Fat
72g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 383
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 438mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 72g 26%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 96mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Crispy rice is revered in many cultures, and these Japanese rice cakes are a delicious example of that. They are made with Japanese steamed rice and flour, and the mixture is formed into cakes and fried until crispy. This recipe is a great use for leftover rice and includes a sweetened soy dipping sauce, the perfect complement to the mild-tasting rice.

These rice cakes are a great snack, appetizer, or side dish to meat or fish. You can also turn them into a complete meal by topping with a fried egg, smoked salmon, or a vegetable stir-fry.


For the Rice Cakes:

  • 2 cups steamed Japanese rice

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoons sliced chives, optional garnish

For the Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Japanese rice cakes gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  2. Put cooked rice in a bowl, sprinkle flour over the rice, and knead rice with hands, mixing ingredients together.

    Kneading a bowl of rice with hands

    The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  3. Shape rice into small, round, flat pieces.

    Rice formed into small cakes

    The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  4. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet.

    Oil heating in a skillet

    The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  5. Fry rice cakes over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes.

    rice cakes frying in a skillet

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  6. Turn over cakes and fry for a couple more minutes, until cakes are warmed through.

    Japanese pan-fried rice cakes cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  7. Turn up heat to medium and fry, flipping halfway through, until crispy and golden on both sides.

    Japanese pan fried rice cakes browned on one side in a skillet

    The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  8. Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce by combining the sugar and soy sauce in a small bowl.

    Sugar and soy sauce combined in a small bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  9. Serve the rice cakes, garnished with chives if you like, alongside the dipping sauce and enjoy.

    Japanese pan-fried rice cakes on a plate with dipping sauce

    The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

What Is Japanese Rice?

Rice is the main food source in Japan and no meal would be complete without a bowl of steamed rice on the table. Japanese rice is white, short grain, and has a fluffy and slightly sticky texture. It is known by several names, including sushi rice, Calrose rice, short-grain rice, or Japonica. The rice needs to be rinsed several times, then drained, and left to sit for 30 minutes. It can then be cooked either in a pot on the stove or in a rice cooker.

Once cooled, it can be kept for later use, like to make pan-fried rice cakes. If refrigerated, the rice should be used within 1 to 2 days; for longer storage, place the rice in a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months.

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