I’ve been making these veggie rice balls for quite sometime now and my kids really love them! It might have something to do with using chopsticks but hey! If it works who am I to complain? I don’t recall where I first saw them but I remember thinking that this would be a great way to get a whole meal in one bite.
So these rice balls are actually a take on the traditional Japanese onigiri that uses a piece of fish wrapped in a ball of rice. In my version, I omit the fish but you can feel free to add pieces of any meat or meat substitute when you’re making this. I also chop the veggies instead of leaving whole pieces since I find the kids are more willing to eats small pieces as opposed to big ones.
With these veggie balls you can also add a dipping sauce or plain old ketchup or soy sauce would work too. I actually serve these with my Honey Garlic Tofu so it’s a nice, complete meal!
Now you know I’m a fan of the whole grains and the brown rice but for this recipe you really do have to use white rice because of its starchiness. You need the rice to be sticky for it to hold the shape of the ball. Brown rice just doesn’t do that.
So first off you need to wash your rice about 3 to 4 four times then soak covered in water for about 30 minutes.
Drain rice and add to pot with about 1 cup water. Bring to a boil for about 3 to 4 minutes then let simmer for about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and leave covered for another 15 minutes. The rice should absorb all the water and be sticky.
While the rice is cooking you can steam your veggies either on the stove or in the microwave. When I’m short on time I use the microwave. Just sprinkle a bit of salt on the veggies while steaming. Once cooked add to food processor and chop into bits.
Add veggies to rice and mix well. Adjust salt to taste.
Now this part may burn your hands a bit but you can’t let the rice cool too much or it won’t hold as well. Scoop about 1 to 2 tablespoons into your hands and roll into a ball. Quick tip: keep your hands a bit moist and the rice won’t stick to them.
That’s it! They’re ready to serve!
1/2 cup white rice
1 cup water
4 baby carrots
1/2 cup broccoli
Salt to taste
- Wash rice 3 – 4 times.
- Soak rice in water for 30 minutes then drain.
- Add rice to pot with 1 cup water and bring to boil for 5 minutes.
- Reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
- Turn off heat and leave covered for another 15 minutes.
- Steam carrots and broccoli with salt then chop in food processor.
- Add vegetables to rice and mix well.
- Scoop about 1 to 2 tablespoons into your hands and roll into a ball.
Ready to serve and simply nutritious!