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How to Make Rice Balls

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Chinese New Year is right around the corner, so why not help your child make festive and tasty rice balls to celebrate! Chinese New Year is celebrated in January or February, and part of the celebration is making and eating lots of foods – including rice balls! Known as Onigiri, traditional rice balls have a special treat inside and are sometimes coated in sesame seeds or strips of nori.

What You Need:

  • 1 c. sushi rice
  • Large bowl
  • Spatula
  • 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Sugar
  • ½ a cucumber, chopped
  • Sesame seeds

What You Do:

  1. Bring 2 cups of lightly-salted water to boil and then invite your fourth-grader to measure the sushi rice and gently pour it into the water. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. It’s time to get rolling! Invite your child to place the cooked rice in a large bowl and cover with the rice wine vinegar and sugar. Working with a spatula, encourage your child to mix the rice, helping to incorporate the ingredients as well as cool the rice.
  3. Now your child can carefully chop the cucumber into small chunks to place in the center of the rice balls.
  4. Invite her to gather a handful of rice and make a hole in the center to place a couple of the cucumber pieces. Now she can carefully squeeze the rice ball together and then roll in the sesame seeds.
  5. The rice balls can be eaten on their own or dipped in soy sauce!
Sarah Lipoff has a K-12 Art Education degree and enjoys working with kids of all ages.

Updated on Jan 24, 2014
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See more activities in: Fourth Grade, Chinese New Year
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