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I credit our friends Bryan and Jenn for my sushi infatuation. The last time they came to visit (they live a state away), we went out and loaded our table with all manner of rolls and nigiri. I was hooked. So when the ever creative Heidi at 101 Cookbooks posted the recipe for her Sesame Almond Brown Rice Balls, it gave me an idea. Why not make brown sushi rice balls? They would have endless flavor combinations and be easier than the traditional rolling process.
Adding toasted seaweed to the rice mixture gives just the right amount of good-fishy flavor to the little balls.
And filling them is the fun part:
sashimi grade ahi tuna + avocado + spicy mayonnaise
avocado + spicy mayonnaise + pickled ginger
sashimi grade ahi tuna + avocado + pickled ginger
How about sashimi grade salmon, crab, or even solid rice balls topped with a thin slice of ahi or salmon (similar to nigiri); you see where I'm going with this. So many options!
More Must-Try Fish and Seafood Appetizers
Brown Rice Sushi Balls
For the rice balls:
- 1 cup short grain brown rice (or brown sushi rice) prepared according to package directions and cool enough to handle comfortably
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons minced toasted seaweed I used Annie Chun's sesame seaweed snacks
- 1 ounce toasted almonds finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons minced chives divided
For the spicy mayonnaise:
Some filling options:
- small cubes of avocado tossed with a little lemon juice to keep them from turning brown
- tiny cubes of sashimi grade ahi tuna or salmon
- pickled ginger
- spicy mayonnaise recipe above
For dipping (optional):
- 2 parts soy sauce to 1 part sesame oil
- soy sauce + wasabi paste to taste
- Line a container or platter with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine all rice ball ingredients - reserving 1 tablespoon of the chives for garnish - in a large bowl. Season to taste with fine sea salt.
- Line a small, deep cup with plastic wrap. Scoop in enough of the rice mixture to fill about ⅔ full. Make an indentation in the center of the rice and fill with your choice of ingredients (see suggested combinations above). Gather the plastic wrap straight up from the sides and use your fingers to gently cover the filling with rice. Lift the ball from the bowl and gently twist it, letting any air escape. Use your fingertips and opposite palm to shape a round ball (see photo above). Gently remove the ball from the plastic wrap and place in container or on platter. Repeat with remaining rice mixture (you'll get the hang of it after a few balls). Sprinkle with reserved chives for garnish.