The Chef Within
Sushi rice balls – using leftover rice
A few weeks ago I catered a Mexican affair and found myself with lots of leftover rice. Family was coming over and I really wanted to use up this rice in a kid friendly way and so I decided to try to make a version of sushi rice balls. Here’s what I did…and let me preface this by saying that I recognize this is not the ideal way of making rice balls but it is a great tasting way, nonetheless, of using up rice.
The original rice was prepared with careful rinsing and then it was drained and toasted in some oil with onions and cooked al dente. The rice kernels turned out loose and just as you might want a side of Mexican rice. Here’s how I was able to turn it into a “gummier” product that would clump together into a ball.
I took a ziploc bag and filled it with a good amount of rice. At the same time I added some unseasoned rice vinegar, sugar and salt. For every estimated cup of rice you might start with one tablespoon of the vinegar, one tablespoon of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
If you prefer you could use the seasoned vinegar, which would give you the same results.
I took it to the microwave and warmed it… then with the fingers mushed and mixed everything together from the outside of the sealed bag.
Then I repeated the procedure of warming a little more, mushing with the hands, tasting and warming until the rice actually gathered into a ball. As the rice got hotter it was necessary to use a towel to handle the bag.
From that point I portioned out smaller balls, which stuck together beautifully, let them cool, sprinkled with sesame seeds and they were awesome. We ate them as a side and they were devoured by the family in moments. Not the authentic way but certainly a resourceful way of using up leftover rice.