Vegan Recipe: Onigiri (Rice Balls)

PlantifulPlate Onigiri

A traditional Japanese version of fast food, these rice balls are seasoned and sometimes stuffed with a filling for a tasty breakfast or snack. By Christine Wong, from her new cookbook The Plantiful Plate: Vegan Vinyasas from the Yommme Kitchen

Choose Your Favorite Combination

RICE (2 cups)

Purple sticky
Short- grain brown
Short-grain white


1 tablespoon rice vinegar + ½ teaspoon salt


Nori seaweed strips
Perilla/shiso leaves

FILLING (8 teaspoons)

Adzuki beans (cooked)
Carrot Lox
Mock “Tuna” Salad
Mushroom Tapenade


(Serves 8)

1 cup short- grain white rice
1 cup short-grain brown rice
3½ cups filtered water
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 or 2 chard leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sesame seeds


Combine the rice varieties in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse well. Drain and transfer to a saucepan with a tight- fitting lid.

Add the water and place over high heat. Bring to a boil. Cover immediately, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat.

Stir in the chopped carrot, chard leaves, rice vinegar, and salt. Cover with a dish towel and set aside to cool slightly (it will be warm but not too hot to handle).

Wet your hands with warm water to keep the rice from sticking to them. Place a scant ½ cup of the mixture in the palm of your hand and slightly flatten it. Firmly press until a tight ball forms. Gently roll the ball in the sesame seeds and transfer to a plate. Continue with the remaining mixture until all of it has been used.

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