Japanese Rice Balls with Fillings

Download a printable PDF version of the recipe.




Makes 6 large rice balls

  • 300g of good quality Japanese medium grain rice
  • 390ml water
  • kombu seaweed (optional)
  • nori seaweed

Filling suggestions

  • beef with wasabi mayonnaise
  • tuna and sweet corn
  • semi-dried tomato and cream cheese
  • mixed vegetables
  • teriyaki chicken
  • pulled pork
  • omelet


  1. Put the rice into a pot or rice cooker. Wash and drain the rice two or three times, until the water is only slightly milky. Add the water to the pot and put a few pieces of kombu seaweed on top of the rice and start cooking. If you’re cooking on a stove top, cook for 15-20 minutes on a medium heat with a lid on.
  2. While the rice is cooking, prepare the ingredients to put inside the rice balls. You can use pretty much whatever you like to fill them and we’ve included some suggestions above.
  3. When the rice is cooked, remove the seaweed and stir the rice. Leave it to cool to a temperature that is easy to handle, but still warm.
  4. To make the balls, cut a piece of plastic wrap and leave it flat on the bench. Dampen the inside of a small bowl and your hands with water, and place a small handful of rice into the bowl and form a well. Fill the well with your choice of fillings, then cover them with more rice.
  5. Dampen your hands again, spread a tiny amount of salt on them, and tip the rice out of the bowl into your hand. Gently press the rice into a rounded triangular shape. Wrap the finished ball in the plastic wrap to hold its shape. Repeat the process until all the rice is used up.
  6. Put the balls into the fridge for a few hours. When ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap and add some nori seaweed – wet the seaweed with water and stick it to the rice ball, sitting the rice ball in the centre of a strip of seaweed and sticking the ends of the seaweed to the side of the rice ball with water.

Download a printable PDF version of the recipe.

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Download a printable PDF version of the recipe.