Sushi Rice Balls


My five-pound bag of sushi rice has been sitting unused since my foray into sushi making this summer. Sushi rolling is too much of a production for every day. Luckily the bag of rice caught my eye on an icy evening when I needed to make a party appetizer but had few groceries in the house.


These rice balls are sticky, salty, and a bit spicy from the ginger. They’re also inexpensive and easy to make. You can try stuffing them with other ingredients—such as chopped shrimp or vegetables—if you want to make them fancier.


  • 1 cup sushi rice
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped baby spinach (measured after chopping)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce (gluten free if desired)
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp warm water



  1. Place the rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse lightly with cool water. Shake out the extra water, and place the rice in a medium pot with a lid. Add the water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. When the water boils, stir and recover the rice. Lower heat to a simmer for 23 to 25 minutes, until the water is gone. If the pot bubbles too much and threatens to overflow, remove the lid for a few seconds and then recover.
  3. When rice is finished, stir in spinach until the pieces wilt. Add vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame seeds and stir.
  4. Sprinkle the surface of the rice with ginger and coriander. Drizzle with the warm water and stir well. Let the rice mixture cool for 10 minutes.  IMG_4938
  5. Put a piece of plastic wrap on a clean countertop, and fill a small bowl with cool water.
  6. Wet your fingers and roll a rice ball about 1 1/2 inches across. Place the ball on the plastic wrap. Wet your fingers again and repeat until you’ve rolled all of the rice.  IMG_4939
  7. Serve warm, or allow to cool before packing in an airtight container lined with plastic wrap. Store for a day at room temperature, or refrigerate and bring to room temperature before eating.
Makes about 16 balls. Adapted from

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