Home Uncategorized For High Output Activities, Rice is Nice (Riceball Recipe)

For High Output Activities, Rice is Nice (Riceball Recipe)

by Karen Ung
Have you ever considered rice as a trail snack? Rice is nice for so many reasons! It is easy to digest and provides a lot of energy. In fact it is a top choice of pro cyclists when they are doing long races such as the Tour de France because it refuels them quickly without weighing them down. Rice balls or rice cakes* can be filled with a variety of fillings just like a sandwich and are easy to make.
Rice ball (onigiri)

Traditional rice balls (onigiri) require short grain rice, fillings or seasoning, and seaweed to wrap the rice balls in. If you cannot find all the Japanese ingredients, improvise with locally found ingredients. My girls’ favorite fillings are green peas and teriyaki chicken.


Seasoned seaweed
  • Short grained rice (3 cups for 4 people)
  • Fillings:  teriyaki chicken, grilled fish, chopped hard boiled egg, furikake nori seasoning, salt and black sesame seeds, canned tuna/salmon,  umeboshi (pickled plums – remove pit), kimchi, or pickled daikon/eggplant
  • Rice seasoning: Sesame seeds & salt, furikake nori, cooked green peas, cooked red beans & salt
  • Seaweed: Nori (sushi seaweed) or Gim (Korean toasted seaweed) – 1 piece per rice ball
  1. Cook a few cups of short grained rice (do NOT use instant rice). If the Kitchen God has blessed you with a rice cooker with an automatic timer, pre-set it so your rice will be ready when you need it.
  2. When the rice is ready, let the rice rest for 5 minutes (the secret to perfect rice), then flip it with a rice paddle.
  3. Let the rice cool until you can touch it without saying bad words burning your fingers (15 minutes).
  4. Scoop a small bowl of rice into a piece of plastic wrap, add fillings, twist the plastic wrap shut, and pack the rice into a ball or triangle. Alternately you may season the rice, then shape rice balls. Photo instructions follow.
a. empty rice bowl into plastic wrap
b. add filling (furikake nori shown)
Furikake Nori Rice Seasoning
c. pull 4 corners of plastic wrap together and twist closed
d. pack rice into a ball or triangle
e. When ready to eat, remove the plastic wrap and wrap the rice ball in a piece of roasted seaweed. 
The seaweed adds flavor and keeps your fingers from getting covered in sticky rice. 

If you make rice balls all the time, and like them to be the same shape and size, consider purchasing an onigiri mold. I purchased this one from Bento & Co.

Onigiri mold from Bento & Co.

For a sweet and creamy rice cake recipe from Team Sky (cycling team), visit Rapha’s blog 

What would you put in your rice balls? Something sweet or savory?

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