Rice Balls

Next time you make short grain rice, make sure you have some left overs for this recipe. Or you can do like me and make rice specifically for this!

The Recipe:
Veggie Rice Balls
1 tsp. olive oil
2-3 large Shitaki mushrooms, chopped, about 1 cup
1/2 carrot, finely chopped, about 1/4 cup
1 tsp. garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. ginger, finely chopped
1 tbsp. chicken stock
Salt, pepper, sesame seeds, sesame oil (1/2 tsp.) to season
2 cups cooked rice, heated

1. Sauté carrots, garlic and ginger in oil over medium heat until soft, adding chicken stock to soften the carrot. Add mushrooms and continue to sauté until they are soft.

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2. Season with salt, pepper, sesame seeds and sesame oil.

3. Mix with rice in a bowl and shape them into balls about the size of golf balls.

4. Serve at room temperature.

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Bacon and Onion Rice Balls
4 strips of bacon
1/3 cup chopped green onion
Salt, pepper, sesame seeds, sesame oil (1/2 tsp.) to season
2 cups cooked rice, heated

1. Fry the bacon and chop into small chunks.

2. Sauté the green onion with a tiny bit of bacon grease until they are slightly wilted, about 5 seconds.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine bacon, green onions and rice.

4. Season with salt, pepper, sesame seeds and sesame oil.

5. Mix with rice in a bowl and shape them into balls about the size of golf balls.

6. Serve at room temperature.

My Experience:

Make sure that the rice is short grain rice (such as Korean or Japanese). You want a sticky rice. Long grain rice is fluffy and will not stick together.

I have to admit, forming the rice into balls is a little tricky at first. The original recipe suggests plastic disposable gloves spread with a tiny bit of oil to prevent sticking. I used bare hands and found that when my hands were slightly damp, the rice didn’t stick as much. The trick is to not add too much oil (while cooking and while seasoning). Too much oil will prevent the rice from sticking.

To chop the carrot super fine, first julienne them into sticks and then chop.

Chop Carrots

For the sesame seeds, black seeds look better esthetically but it really doesn’t matter. I used plain toasted sesame seeds.

The original recipe suggests serving with Korean chili bean paste and wrapped in a lettuce leaf. I only made the veggie one this time. I will soon be trying the bacon onion one too. I served it with salmon sashimi and a side of seaweed salad. I dipped my rice balls in soy sauce (with a little wasabi for my boyfriend).

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