Sesame-Spinach Onigiri (Rice Balls) Recipe

Rice  Balls
Flickr/hampdenarchy

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ pound spinach, washed
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1 cup cooked Japanese short-grain rice
  • 1 sheet nori (Japanese seaweed), cut into 2 inch-wide strips

My family was vegetarian from 1998 to 2004 while my cousin from India was living with us and attending college. Coincidentally, my mom was teaching a cooking class at the time she called “The Occasional Vegetarian.”  I used to go with her every week to prep beforehand, chopping piles of garlic and onions, and pretending to do homework while she taught, but secretly listening in. I wasn't surprised (or upset) to find these in my lunch box the day after the rice ball class.

Click here to see 8 Easy Vegetarian Dishes. 

Directions

Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then sauté garlic for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add spinach and sauté until just cooked through, another 2-3 minutes. Toss with sesame seeds and set aside to cool.

Line a small bowl or ramekin with plastic wrap and loosely press a 1-inch layer of rice into the bottom. Add 2 tablespoons of spinach to the center, then add another layer of rice on top to cover.

Fold the sides of the plastic wrap in, then twist to make a sealed package. Flatten the rice ball between your hands. Mold it into a triangular shape, apply firm pressure with both hands, then remove plastic wrap.

Lightly press a nori strip around the bottom of the rice ball, sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired, and serve.

Nutrition

Calories per serving:

504 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Low Sodium Sugar Conscious, Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free, Milk Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free, No Sugar Added

Daily value:

25%

Servings:

2
  • Fat 29g 45%
  • Carbs 166g 55%
  • Saturated 4g 22%
  • Fiber 5g 21%
  • Sugars 1g
  • Monounsaturated 11g
  • Polyunsaturated 12g
  • Protein 20g 40%
  • Sodium 184mg 8%
  • Calcium 260mg 26%
  • Magnesium 250mg 62%
  • Potassium 1,477mg 42%
  • Iron 8mg 44%
  • Zinc 4mg 24%
  • Phosphorus 336mg 48%
  • Vitamin A 1,070µg 119%
  • Vitamin C 67mg 112%
  • Thiamin (B1) 0mg 22%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 1mg 32%
  • Niacin (B3) 5mg 24%
  • Vitamin B6 1mg 42%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 462µg 115%
  • Vitamin E 5mg 25%
  • Vitamin K 1,099µg 1,374%
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