Snack on the go with these Japanese tuna rice balls

tuna rice balls

Perfect for a quick snack on the go or for your bento lunch box, these Japanese tuna rice balls will fill a hungry tummy! It’s a simple but delicious rice ball that is packed with protein, iodine, iron, calcium, vitamins and minerals.  Ready in just 15-20 mins, it’s a fast meal that your children will love.

This is a great recipe to make together with your children. They get hands-on and roll the rice balls with you. Maybe having a little taste along the way! If you have any leftovers, these rice balls will keep really well in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days. 

Japanese Tuna Rice Balls – Serves 6


  • 2 cups short-grain white rice 
  • 2 ½ cups water 
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon sugar 
  • 1 carrot, small dice 
  • 1 zucchini, small dice 
  • 200g canned tuna in spring water, strain the water 
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • 5 pieces seaweed nori, finely chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted 


  1. Rinse the rice with tap water, and gently wash it with your hands 3 times. Cook it in the rice cooker or in the pot if you prefer. 
  2. Meanwhile, blanch carrot and zucchini in boiling water for 2 mins, this makes them easier to cut into small diced pieces. Chop the seaweed nori. Set them aside 
  3. Transfer rice into a bowl straight away after it is cooked, add vinegar and sugar in and mix well. 
  4. Add tuna, mayonnaise, salt, carrot, zucchini, chopped seaweed nori and sesame seed into the bowl (keep a small amount of seaweed nori and sesame seed for garnish), mix them together
  5. Roll into golf-sized ball shapes with your hand.  
  6. Sprinkle your leftover seaweed nori and sesame seed on top of each rice ball and enjoy! 

We hope this quick and easy recipe becomes a lunch or snack time staple in your house! If you’d like to find out more information about our service, you can book a tour or send us a message.

Written By

Vivian, CEEC Chef

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