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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.

Recipe by Cooking Light September 2013


Credit: Grant Cornett; Styling: Angharad Bailey

Recipe Summary test

20 mins
20 mins
Serves 2 (serving size: 2 rice balls)


Ingredient Checklist


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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

Chef'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 www.choosemyplate.gov.

Nutrition Facts

208 calories; fat 2.2g; saturated fat 0.4g; mono fat 0.9g; poly fat 0.6g; protein 11.4g; carbohydrates 35.2g; fiber 0.3g; cholesterol 25mg; iron 0.6mg; sodium 435mg; calcium 9mg.