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Three Easy Ways to Make Korean Rice Balls! (Delicious, Healthy & 100% Vegan!)

In today’s “Cook With Me” video, I tried THREE ways to make Korean Rice Balls! Head over to my YouTube channel to watch how I made them or scroll down for the written recipe!

So today, we’re going to be making Korean rice balls or “joomukbab” in Korean, which literally translates to “fist rice” (my guess is because you kinda make a fist-like shape with your hands when you form the balls or maybe because they look like little fists!). You see, we Korean people have a very descriptive way of naming our dishes! 😃

These are also quite simple to make, perfect for those who don’t have too much time to spend making meals in the kitchen. Plus, I’ll be showing you three different fillings — chickpea “tuna”, tofu with sesame oil, and kimchi with smoked tofu.  

Basically, you’ll just have to prepare some rice and season it with salt and a little bit of sesame oil (see measurements below). I used brown rice in this recipe, but it didn’t stick as well as I would like it to so I’d highly recommend using white short-grain rice or sushi rice if you’re making this to make them stick better.

Okay, let’s get on to the recipe!

Korean rice balls (Three Ways!)

For the rice:


  • for 1 cup of cooked rice (short grain or sushi rice is recommended)
  • a small amount of salt (depending on your taste buds)
  • 1-2 tsp toasted sesame oil


  1. Toss in some salt and sesame oil with the rice. (I used 1 tsp of sesame oil per 1 cup of cooked rice, but you can add a little more if you’d like)
  2. Mix well and set aside.  

Filling #1: Chickpea Tuna



  1. Begin by mashing the chickpeas using a fork or a food processor. 
  2. For flavor, add in vegan mayo, garlic powder, kelp granules (for the seafood-y taste), dijon mustard, and salt & pepper. Mix everything well.
  3. Set aside. 

Filling #2: Tofu with Sesame Oil



  1. Add a small amount of oil to a pan. 
  2. Crumble up the tofu and cook for a little bit.
  3. Add in the soy sauce, rice vinegar, agave nectar, sesame oil, and garlic powder. Mix everything well.
  4. Add in green onions to the mixture. 
  5. Set aside.

Filling #3: Kimchi with Smoked Tofu   


  • 1/2 – 1/4 cup vegan kimchi, chopped finely
  • 1/8 block extra firm tofu 
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil


  1. Heat a little bit of oil in a pan. 
  2. Add in the kimchi (I’m using my mom’s vegan kimchi recipe which you can find here)
  3. Crumble up some tofu and mix it in with the kimchi.
  4. Add in soy sauce and sesame oil. Mix everything well.

Now, for the assembly: 

  1. Take ½ cup of the rice and put it in your hands. 
  2. Flatten the rice slightly by pressing it down with your thumbs.
  3. Take your filling of choice and put it in the centre of the flattened rice. Press the filling down, add more rice, and shape it into a ball.
  4. Take some roasted seaweed sheets, crumble them up in a bag. Roll the rice ball onto the crumbled seaweed flakes to coat the outside.
  5. Top your rice ball with sesame seeds. 
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 for the other two fillings. 
  7. Enjoy!
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