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Rice Balls Three Ways

Turn leftover rice into tasty savoury rice balls that are perfect for school lunches. The beauty of these are you can adapt the ingredients to suit your child’s taste or to use up ingredients you have at home. Experiment with ingredients like shredded barbecue chicken, tuna, corn kernels, peas, kale, pumpkin, herbs and zucchini. You can use any type of rice that you have on hand, but we found short or medium grain white rice works best.

How long will it take?

30 minutes

What’s the serving size?

Makes approximately 10 of each type of Rice Ball


What do I need?

For Ham and Spinach Rice Balls

  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • ½ cup ham, finely diced

For the Egg Rice Balls

  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 4 eggs, hard-boiled
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Veggie Rice Balls

  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ cup mushrooms, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup red capsicum, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

How do I make it?

For the Ham and Spinach Rice Balls

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan and add spinach and spring onion. Cook until the spinach has wilted, remove from heat and mix through the soy sauce. 
  2. Place rice, ham, spinach and spring onion mixture into a bowl and mix to combine.
  3. Rub a little olive oil on your hands, take a heaped tablespoon of the mixture and form it into a ball. Repeat with remaining mixture. Refrigerate Rice Balls until serving.

For the Egg Rice Balls

  1. Coarsely grate the cooked eggs into a medium bowl. Add the mayonnaise, mustard and a good pinch of salt and pepper and mix well before adding the rice and stirring to combine. 
  2. Rub a little olive oil on your hands and then take a heaped tablespoon of the mixture and form into a ball. Repeat with remaining mixture. Refrigerate Rice Balls until serving.

For the Veggie Rice Balls

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan and add mushrooms, capsicum, carrot, spring onions, garlic, and ginger. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften. Stir through the soy sauce and sesame oil.
  2. Place vegetables in a mixing bowl with the rice and mix well.
  3. Rub a little olive oil on your hands, take a heaped tablespoon of the mixture and form into a ball. Repeat with remaining mixture. Refrigerate Rice Balls until serving.
Video & photography by David Pyefinch, food by Sarah Joseph

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