Vegan Japanese Rice Balls
- 4 cups steamed Japanese rice (or sticky rice, sushi rice, white or brown short grain rice)
- Dash Pink Hymalayan or Kosher salt (or to taste)
- Black sesame seeds
- 1 to 2 sheets of dried nori seaweed
For the Fillings:
- Umeboshi (pickled plum)
- Bok Choy cabbage
- Edamame beans
- Matcha powder
- Cut each nori sheet into 8 to 9 strips and put about a half cup of steamed rice in a rice bowl.
- Wet your hands with water so that the rice won’t stick.
- Then rub some salt on your hands.
- Place the steamed rice on your hand, making sure it is dense and thick.
- Put your favorite filling, such as umeboshi or furikake on the rice and push the filling into the rice lightly.
- Hold the rice between your palms.
- Form the rice into a round, a triangle, or a cylinder by pressing lightly with your both palms. Roll the rice ball in your hands a few times, pressing lightly.
- Wrap the rice ball with a strip or two of nori, or sprinkle some sesame seeds on them.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Sprinkle an already formed rice ball with 2 teaspoons furikake. Make a batch of your own by following this recipe: 4 Tablespoons roasted sesame seeds, 2 Tablespoons crushed nori, 1 Tablespoon dulse seaweed, 1 Tablespoon hemp seeds, ¾ teaspoon coconut sugar, and a scant ½ teaspoon each of hymalayan salt, lemon zest, and fine red pepper. Shake them together in a jar. Makes a little over ½ cup of furikake.
Braised Bok Choy Onigiri:
- Sauté 2½ cups thinly sliced bok choy in a teaspoon of oil for a minute. Add in 2½ teaspoons soy sauce, 3 Tablespoons vegan dashi stock or water, ¼ teaspoon coconut sugar, and ¼ teaspoon sesame oil and braise the bok choy over medium heat for 2-3 minutes and then remove from heat and cool.
- Make an indentation in the rice and spoon in 1 heaping Tablespoon of bok choy before forming into a ball. Use spinach, kale, swiss chard, or mustard greens instead of the bok choy.
Matcha, Edamame, and Sea Salt Onigiri:
- Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon matcha, 2 Tablespoons steamed edamame, and a pinch of salt onto each mound of rice and use your fingers to incorporate before forming.