Shiitake & Bacon Rice Balls with Spicy Ginger Sauce

For a modern take on the Japanese Izakaya menu, look no further than these rice balls filled with savoury bacon, shitake mushrooms and winter squash. Add vibrant colour and umami flavour by sprinkling the tops with Homemade Japanese Furikake Seasoning.
45 min
30 min


  • Shiitake & Bacon Rice Balls
  • 1 3/4 cups (425 milliliters) sushi rice
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 4 slices slices thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 1 cup (250 milliliters) diced winter squash, such as kabocha or butternut
  • 1/2 cup (125 milliliters) shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) Homemade Japanese Furikake Seasoning, plus additional for rice balls (see separate recipe)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 milliliters) White Pepper Ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 milliliters) Ground Mustard
  • Spicy Ginger Sauce
  • 1/3 cup (75 milliliters) unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 milliliters) Ginger Ground
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 milliliters) Onion Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 milliliters) Red Pepper Crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 milliliters) Sriracha Seasoning


  • 1 For the Rice Balls, cook sushi rice as directed on package. Fluff with fork then stir in rice vinegar. Set aside to cool slightly while preparing filling.
  • 2 To make the shiitake filling, cook bacon in large skillet on medium heat about 7 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel-lined plate. Reserve bacon fat in skillet. Add squash to skillet; cook about 6 minutes or until slightly tender, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and green onions; cook about 2 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Add Furikake Seasoning, white pepper and mustard; cook 5 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Stir in bacon. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • 3 For the Ginger Sauce, combine all ingredients in medium bowl. Set aside until ready to serve. Store in airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week.
  • 4 To form the rice balls, scoop about 1/3 cup (75 mL) warm rice into palm of hand and make a deep indentation in rice. Place about 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the shiitake filling in indentation. Using hands, gently shape rice around filling, forming a ball, to enclose filling. Repeat with remaining rice and shiitake filling. Sprinkle rice balls with additional Furikake Seasoning. Serve with Ginger Sauce.


(per Serving)