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Asian Rice Balls

Delicious and easy, these Asian Rice Balls are a perfect little appetizer. The peanut crusted outer shell gives it a nice crunch while the soft inside is filled with rice and herbs. If you like to make ahead, just form the balls and freeze. When you are ready to serve, just fry them in oil, drain, and arrange on a plate. For guests who like some spicy zing, add a lime and Sweet Chili Sauce for dipping. If you expect guests with peanut allergies, consider rolling the rice balls in bread crumbs instead.


  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 cups cooked sushi rice (or long grain rice)
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • vegetable oil for frying


Place the garlic and ginger in a food processor and process to form a paste. Add sugar, salt, and soy sauce. Also add cilantro and lime juice. Process until fully mixed. Add 3/4 of the cooked rice to the mixture in the food processor and process until everything is smooth and sticky. Put the mixture into a bowl and add the remaining rice. Wet your hands and begin forming small balls. Place the chopped peanuts in a bowl and roll the rice balls in the peanuts to cover evenly. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or wok. Place the peanut balls in the hot oil and fry until crisp. Drain on a paper towel.


Place the rice balls on a plate with toothpicks or serve individually on appetizer forks. Make sure to have a lime wedge near by or spritz some on the appetizer if you know it will be served immediately. They are also fantastic dipped in Sweet Chili Sauce available at Whole Foods or any international market.