• Prep Time30 mins
  • Total Time1 hr 5 mins
  • MakesAbout 20 pieces

Photo: Craig Boyko

A Japanese specialty, these rice balls are filled with smoked fish then wrapped in seaweed and topped with toasted sesame seeds.


  • 1 ½ cups sushi rice

  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar, divided

  • 150 g hot smoked salmon or trout, skin removed and flaked (about 1 ½ cups)

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise

  • 1 green onion, finely chopped

  • 1 sheet toasted nori (seaweed), cut into 3-in strips

  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, optional


  • Rinse rice under cold running water. Place in a medium saucepan, then cover with water and soak for 10 min. Drain well, then return to saucepan. Add 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 min. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 min. Transfer to a large bowl.

  • Drizzle rice with 4 tsp vinegar and fluff with a fork. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let stand until slightly cooled, about 10 min.

  • Stir together fish, mayo, onion and remaining 2 tsp vinegar until combined.

  • Set aside a bowl of water for wetting hands to prevent rice from sticking. Using wet hands, scoop rice by scant ¼-cup portions and form into disks with a small well in each centre. Place about 2 tsp of fish mixture into each well, then pinch to close and smooth rice into balls, wetting fingers as needed. Gently squeeze and roll balls between your palms to create oval or triangle shapes as desired.

  • Wrap each shape with a strip of nori, then roll in sesame seeds, if using.

Nutrition (per piece)

Calories 155, Protein 5g, Carbohydrates 21g, Fat 6g, Fibre 1g, Sodium 132mg.

Originally published in the November + December 2017 issue. Photo by Craig Boyko. 

This article was originally published on Nov 19, 2017

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