Yin Yang

Yin Yang

Opposites attract? Quite the contrary, they don’t attract but they definitely co-exist on interdependency. A dependency if set in motion will make the two aspects in question gain momentum and surpass every natural force or hindrance.


A statement I just made which describes the ancient Asian philosophy of Yin Yang. A philosophy, which could be followed to push yourself to heights which are insurmountable and assist and aid you as you make your way through the path of life.


An observation in my own course I discovered was largely summed up due to certain situations. Natural forces of a certain nature would befall at unexpected times and instead of embracing them and working towards straightening them I would fight or take flight against them using up all the energy I had in a very negative manner.


Yin Yang professes the need to bring about a certain balance in life and at the same time takes charge of a certain situation in hand and turns it into a positive or alternate beneficial situation. For example a lot of people face problems with career, family, personal life. A person’s career is down in the dumps, or their personal life is not bright enough to sustain the darkness it’s going through. What do they do about it? Just mope?


Instead of moping about, for example, if you having a slump in your career, you could try embracing it as much needed break from your routine and hard paced work life. People crib about how they don’t have enough time to be with the family or their social life is taking a beating due to work pressures, commitments, deadlines etc. so then why not look at concentrating your energies and surplus time to be with the family or to go have that social life you always wanted? You never know what opportunities could spring open while embracing the other aspects and you would be surprised as to how life changes and moves along so spontaneously.


The theory is quite simple, if you cater to the problem on hand and feed it with your thoughts it is there to stay as it’s thoroughly satiated. If you choose to ignore it and take it as a part of your life, it will find its way out of your life by the weight of the other things you concentrate on. This is a pure and simple balance coupled with the effects of the opposite actions will just about set things right and push you forward.


This innovative signature recipe marries Japanese flavors in an extremely contemporary way and also keeps up with the theme of Yin Yang. Taking inspiration from a popular Japanese spice called Shichimi Togarashi which can be ground in your very own kitchen, I have flavored the sesame rice ball with this spice. The citrusy, spicy and nutty flavors enhanced with a rubbing of sweet honey go well with the smooth but sharp flavors of Wasabi mayo and to add that extra juice to the dish, roasted cherry tomatoes (though I have used black cherry tomatoes, you may use the commercial red ones) and pineapple make up the succulent part for the otherwise dry and crisp rice ball. A perfect balance of flavors and sensations to the tongue sets this signature dish apart from the usual.

Yin Yang Sesame Rice Ball with Wasabi Mayo, Roasted Cherry Tomato & Pineapple




For the Yin Yang Sesame Rice Ball

  • 2 cups – boiled, day old Rice
  • 1½ tablsp Shichimi Togarashi*
  • ½ cup Rice Flour (Made into a thin paste using water)
  • 1/3 cup White Sesame Seeds
  • 1/3 cup Black Sesame Seeds
  • Honey to Brush
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying


For the Wasabi Mayonnaise

  • ½ cup Prepared Mayonnaise
  • 2 tablsp Wasabi Powder
  • 2 tsp Water


  • Cherry Tomatoes (whole)
  • Pineapple Slices
  • 1 tablsp toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 tablsp Shichimi Togarashi


Dissolve the Wasabi powder in water till it forms a smooth paste, you can also look out for prepared Wasabi paste which can be used as is in the same quantity. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until the flavors enhance and then whisk into the mayonnaise till well blended. Refrigerate till ready to use.


Heat a deep bottomed vessel with oil for frying.


To prepare the Yin Yang Sesame Rice Balls, mash the boiled rice with your hands till half mashed, spoon in the Shichimi Togarashi spice and season with salt. Mash well till well incorporated and you get a smooth ball of rice (you may leave the rice balls slightly grainy by not mashing the rice into a paste).


Divide the mixture into twelve and roll each part into a firm, well rolled ball (ensure that the rolled up ball is well pressed or it will come apart while frying).


In two small plates, each, spread the sesame seeds separately and keep ready.


Proceed by dipping the rice balls into rice flour paste, quickly roll one half into white sesame seeds and then roll the other half into the black sesame seeds, this way you will have half and half sesame seed covered rice ball of the Yin Yang colors. Quickly drop them carefully in the hot oil and fry till the seeds lightly golden.


Remove and lightly brush with honey.


To proceed with the serving, toss the toasted sesame oil with the Shichimi Togarashi and dip the cherry tomatoes in it briefly. With the remaining oil brush one side of the pineapple slices and lightly braise on a pan (this can be done ahead and kept, ensure you don’t overcook the pineapple of it will start releasing juice).


Skewer marinated Tomatoes and the prepared Yin Yang Sesame Rice Balls brushed with honey on a stick and briefly rotate them on an open fire or flame till the honey caramelizes and the tomatoes blacken a bit.


Serve on a bed of pineapple slices smeared with Wasabi Mayonnaise and finally topping it with the skewered Yin Yang Sesame Rice Balls and Roasted Tomatoes.


*Shichimi Togarashi can be procured from specialty stores in the country but can be easily put together in your own kitchen. Blend together the following ingredients into a smooth powder:

1 tsp White Sesame Seeds

½ tsp Black Sesame Seeds

½ tsp Poppy Seeds

2 tsp Red Chili Powder

2 tsp Black Peppercorns

¼Orange/ Tangerine (Only the peel is to be used)

1 sheet Nori (Japanese Seaweed – this can be avoided if you cannot source it)



6 thoughts on “Yin Yang”

  1. Anita MenonSays…
    Replied on

    wow.. you are a true gourmand. Loved the write up. Made so much sense

    1. Nikhil MerchantSays…
      Replied on

      Thanks Anita !

  2. When Harry Met CelerySays…
    Replied on

    This looks like the sweet sesame balls I ate at Yauatcha! Lovely plating, Nikhil!

    1. Nikhil MerchantSays…
      Replied on

      Oh have not tried those there ? must do so…
      and Thanks..

  3. CandelaSays…
    Replied on

    this blog is very informative. i am really impressed by the comments which people have given over here. i am sure many people will get more and more knowledge from this

    1. Nikhil MerchantSays…
      Replied on

      Thanks –

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