These Japanese rice balls are a favourite of Japanese children and any others who try them. They’re also perfect to get kids involved in food preparation—just be sure they wash their hands well! To build food literacy, talk to children about where and how rice grows and the many cultures around the world that rely on rice.

10 child-size portions
Preparation Time
15 minutes
Cooking Time
Common Allergens
sesame, soy (if using tofu)
Equipment List
Stove or rice cooker
Medium sized pot
Cutting board
1 cup
brown rice (short grain is preferable)
for sprinkling hands
1 cup
sesame seeds
For ex,steamed carrot, diced smoked tofu and/or avocado

1. Cook rice according to package directions or in a rice cooker. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
2. Wet clean hands and sprinkle lightly with salt. Take 1-2 tablespoons of rice and form into a ball (ping-pong ball size).
3. Take a piece of filling and stick it into the middle of the ball then gently reshape. Roll the ball in sesame seeds.
4. Add a small strip of seaweed if desired to hold the ball. Place on a tray lined with wax paper and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Source: Adapted from Food Flair Manual, p. 149

Japanese rice ball