Feed Zone Portables: Baked Rice Balls

These recipes for lemon ricotta or ham and pineapple baked rice balls are the perfect workout fuel to cook up next time you have leftover rice on hand.

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When serving up portables at Ironman Hawaii, we didn’t have our trailer along, so we set up shop in a pizza joint. We served up ham & pineapple rice balls because we wanted to give the triathletes a smaller bite. You can make a quick batch of baked rice balls using 2–3 cups of warm rice left over from dinner. Pick your flavor combination, pulse in a food processor, and press a fistful of tasty sticky rice into whatever shape you like.

If you like the lighter texture of baked rice balls, try making your favorite rice cake into a ball.

  • Total time: 20 minutes


Lemon ricotta rice ball ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked sticky rice
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon zest

Ham & pineapple rice ball ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked sticky rice
  • 3 cups water
  • ¼ cup chopped cooked ham
  • ¼ cup minced fresh pineapple (You can also use canned pineapple, thoroughly drained.)
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce

Rice Ball Directions

  1. Step 1

    Combine the water and rice in a rice cooker with a dash of salt and let cook.

  2. Step 2

    While the rice is cooking, mince filling ingredients together in a medium bowl

  3. Step 3

    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment paper. When the rice has finished cooking, mix it with the remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly.

  4. Step 4

    Shape rice mixture according to instructions below. Bake for 10–15 minutes.

  5. Step 5

    Let cool before wrapping.

How to Shape Baked Rice Balls

  1. Step 1

    Prepare your favorite flavor of baked rice balls.

  2. Step 2

    Line a small bowl or shape with plastic wrap and fill with a heaping spoonful of the rice mixture.

  3. Step 3

    Gather up the excess plastic wrap.

  4. Step 4

    Firmly press the rice mixture into the shape.

  5. Step 5

    Gently remove the rice ball from the wrap.

  6. Step 6

    Place the rice ball on the baking sheet and repeat steps 2–5.

Lemon Ricotta Rice Balls – Per Serving: Calories 120, Carbs 23 g, Protein 3 g, Fat 2 g, Fiber 0 g, Sodium 14 mg
Ham & Pineapple Rice Balls – Per Serving: Calories 104, Carbs 68 g, Protein 2 g, Fat 0 g, Fiber 0 g, Sodium 34 mg
Adapted from Feed Zone Portables by Biju Thomas and Allen Lim with permission of VeloPress.

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