Jumbo Rice Ball

It looks like a black bomb on the outside, but inside there are so many surprise ingredients arranged in colorful layers!

Jumbo Rice Ball
Photographed by Takeshi Noguchi

Recipe by
Eiko Oba




Rice & Noodles



Calorie count is per serving


  • 600 g hot cooked rice
  • [A]

    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tbsp sake
    • A dash of soy sauce
    • A pinch of salt
  • [B]

    • 100 g ground chicken
    • A little grated ginger
    • 1 tbsp sake
    • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 umeboshi pickled plum (large)
  • 10 g tororo-kombu

    Compressed kombu kelp shaved into threads.

  • 3 sheets nori (full square)
  • 1 pack bonito flakes (5 g)
  • A pinch of salt



Beat the eggs and combine with the rest of [A] in a saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir with 3-4 cooking chopsticks. When the egg starts to set around the perimeter, reduce the heat to low and keep on stirring until crumbly.


Combine [B] in a separate saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir with 3-4 cooking chopsticks. When it comes to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to medium low. Keep on stirring until most of the liquid has evaporated.


Remove the pit from the umeboshi pickled plum. Separate the tororo kombu into fine threads. Tear the nori into large pieces and place in a plastic bag. Crumple up the bag to get crumbled nori without the mess. Place the bonito flakes, tororo kombu and crumbled nori into three separate trays or shallow pans.


Mix 200 g of rice and the crumbled egg in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together 300 g of rice and the ground chicken. Put the remaining rice in a small bowl and place the pitted umeboshi on top.


Cut off two sheets of plastic wrap (30 cm square). Place the mixed egg rice on one sheet, and the chicken rice on the other. Press the rice into a flat round shape. Moisten your hands and rub a pinch of salt between your palms. Take the rice topped with umeboshi and shape into a ball. Roll the ball in the bonito flakes to cover it thoroughly. Place the ball on the mixed egg rice and shape into a larger ball. Remove the wrap and cover the ball with tororo kombu. Place the ball on the mixed chicken rice and shape into an even larger ball. Remove the wrap and cover with crumbled nori. Moisten a knife to cut the jumbo rice ball into 4-6 equal portions. Make sure to wet your knife after each slice.


Place the initial rice ball coated with bonito flakes on top of the mixed egg rice. Draw the four corners of the plastic wrap together to bring the mixed egg rice around the ball. Twist the top of the wrap to form a ball. Put in the tray containing the tororo kombu and, using chopsticks, cover thoroughly.