This is a staple in Japanese lunch boxes. They may be made in round balls, triangles, or even squares and served as an appetizer.


  • 4 cups steamed Japanese rice (sushi rice)
  • 1 to 2 sheets dried nori seaweed (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 ounce black sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 fillet salmon, grilled (optional)

Step 1

Cut each nori sheet (if using) into 8 or 9 strips, and put about ½ cup steamed rice in a rice bowl.

Step 2

Wet your hands with water so that the rice won't stick, and rub some salt on your wet hands.

Step 3

Place the steamed rice in your hand, and form into a ball or triangle, making sure it is dense and thick.

Step 4

Put filling on the rice, and push it into the rice lightly.

Step 5

Hold the rice between your palms.

Step 6

Form the rice into a ball, triangle, or cylinder by pressing lightly with both palms and securing the filling in the middle. Roll the rice ball in your hands a few times, pressing lightly.

Step 7

Wrap the rice ball with a strip or two of nori (if using), or sprinkle some sesame seeds on top (if using).