We are experiencing a string of REALLY nice weather here in Seattle. The kind that makes me want to eat every meal outside, nap outside and basically hang out and never head back inside. These pack and go rice balls are a sure thing.

I like to make these rice balls with leftover pressure cooked rice because it packs into a ball nicely. They are healthy, travel well and children seem to like them, which is not always easy to find. At least the children I have encountered. 

For adults, you can make a hole in the ball and put a dab of umeboshi inside before closing it up again. For children, you can leave plain or add a bit of baked tofu or seasoned tempeh inside. If you put umeboshi inside for them, just do a little. Children don’t do as well with salt.

Make as many balls as you need. Each ball will use about half a sheet of nori. Make smaller balls for young children and use about 1/3 of a sheet for those.

I have made a lot of these rice balls and every type of nori is a little different. I would love to say that practice makes perfect. As you can tell from the photos, that is sure not the case with me. Some brands of nori are super easy to work with and others are tricky. So, if yours ends up looking a bit scruffy, don’t worry. It will still taste yummy and children don’t seem to mind how they look.

Rice Balls with Nori

pressure cooked brown rice
toasted nori sheets, each sheet torn or cut into 4 squares

1.  Fill a bowl with a little water. Lightly wet hands and then gather enough rice in your hands to make a ball about the size of a golf ball. Squeeze into a ball, smashing the rice together until firm and round.

2.  If you are adding a filling, poke a hole through to the center. Add the filling and put a little rice in the hole to fill it. Pack your rice ball until firm.

3.  Lay the rice ball on 1 square of nori.and fold up the sides to cover as much of the rice ball as you can. Use a little water to help the nori stick, but too much will make the nori soggy.

4.  Lay another square of nori over the exposed section and work to flatten that around the ball. Get the nori on the best you can. Sometimes I will leave it and come back in a few minutes and it will flatten a little better around the ball.

5.  Make as many as you want or that you have rice and nori for.