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 sushi balls? They would have endless flavor combinations and be easier than the traditional rolling process. —Pinch&Swirl
12 to 15 rice balls
For the rice balls:
short grain brown rice, prepared according to package directions and cool enough to handle comfortably
black sesame seeds
white sesame seeds
minced, toasted seaweed (I used Annie Chun's sesame seaweed snacks)
Some filling ingredient 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,
spicy mayonnaise (recipe above)
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 2/3 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.
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 - or - 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!
For dipping (optional): 2 parts soy sauce to 1 part sesame oil +
soy sauce + wasabi paste to taste