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Quick Chicken-Sesame Rice Balls

Photo: Grant Cornett; Styling: Angharad Bailey
Hands-on time 20 mins
Total time 20 mins
Yield Serves 2 (serving size: 2 rice balls)
Rice balls (onigiri) are a classic Japanese bento box dish. You can decorate them with nori to make pandas, kittens, rabbits, or your kids' favorite characters. For even more fun, cut the kiwi slices with a cookie cutter.


  • 1 (7.4-ounce) package precooked sticky rice (such as Annie Chun's)
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion tops
  • 1 teaspoon lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 2 ounces skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast, finely shredded
  • Nori sheets for decoration (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 208
  • fat 2.2 g
  • satfat 0.4 g
  • monofat 0.9 g
  • polyfat 0.6 g
  • protein 11.4 g
  • carbohydrate 35.2 g
  • fiber 0.3 g
  • cholesterol 25 mg
  • iron 0.6 mg
  • sodium 435 mg
  • calcium 9 mg

How to Make It

  1. Heat rice according to package directions; spread on a plate. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar, sugar, and salt; cool completely.

  2. Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon vinegar, onions, soy sauce, oil, and chicken in a small bowl.

  3. Arrange 4 (6-inch) squares of plastic wrap on a work surface. Divide rice mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a ball. Lightly press each rice ball into a disc between palms; place 1 disc on each plastic wrap square. Make an indentation in each. Top each indentation with one-fourth of chicken mixture. Working with one rice ball at a time, lightly press the rice over the filling. Gather up ends of plastic wrap, and twist tightly to form a ball. Gently remove plastic wrap; decorate with nori, if desired.

  4. THE BUDDY BENTO For the little kid who is easily distracted by human lunch buddies, this box offers fun, nutritious food to hold his interest. Make Our Recipe: Quick Chicken-Sesame Rice Balls Then add… 2 tablespoons edamame hummus 1/2 cup steamed sugar snap peas, chilled 1/4 cup seedless red grapes, halved 2 peeled kiwifruit, sliced and cut into shapes 2 fortune cookies Serves 2 Each lunch has 347 calories, 8g fat (9g sat fat), 5g protein, 2g carbs, 9g fiber, and 484mg sodium.

Cook's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit