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Japanese Rice Balls

Japanese Rice Balls

This is a Americanized recipe “hack” for those of us who may not have sticky rice on hand. I use leftover cooked, long grain white rice in making these Japanese style rice balls. I stuff them with a tasty almond filling.

Makes 6 large rice balls. Serves 2.


  • 3 half-sheets Nori (toasted seaweed)
  • 1 c almond meal
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp tamari soy sauce
  • 3 c cooked long grain white rice, cold
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp salt (approx.)
  • 2 green onions, sliced


  1. Using kitchen shears, cut the half-sheets of Nori in half lengthwise, forming 6 long strips. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the almond meal with the mayonnaise and soy sauce until well-blended. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, place the cooked rice.
  4. In a cup, whisk together the corn starch and water. Add this slurry to the rice and blend well.
  5. Place the rice in a steamer until hot. (If you do not have a steamer, place the rice in a metal strainer basket over a pot containing an inch or two of boiling water. Cover and steam 5 minutes, or until hot.)
  6. Cool the rice 10 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
  7. Dampen your hands and rub a pinch of salt on them. Take a quarter-cup rice mixture in the palm of your hand; flatten it slightly.
  8. Add a tablespoon of the almond mixture to the flattened rice, then another quarter-cup rice mixture. Form this into a round ball
  9. Roll a strip of Nori around the center of the rice ball; place it on a tray or dish and sprinkle with green onions.
  10. Repeat this process until all 6 rice balls are made. Serve warm with Japanese pickled vegetables.

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