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Seaweed Rice Balls

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These Seaweed Rice Balls are also known as Jumeokbap, made only with 5 ingredients in less than 10 minutes. They are good for lunch bento or snacks or as a side dish eaten along with spicy foods.

seaweed rice balls jumeokbap

We all know that you cannot help but feel hungry while watching the amazingly delicious food they eat in K-dramas. If you are an avid K-drama watcher, you have most likely been familiar with these Seaweed Rice Balls or also known as Jumeokbap. Rice is usually served warm in a metallic bowl in restaurants. Guests can mix the layered ingredients together with a pair of plastic gloves before rolling their own rice balls. Koreans occasionally make Seaweed Rice Balls to ease the pain from eating spicy food as rice is one of the food items that can extinguish the fire in your mouth.

About Jumeokbap

Korean rice ball is called Jumeokbap (주먹밥) in Korean, which literally translated as “fist rice”. The reason why it has that funny name is that this dish consists of hand-shaped rice balls, no matter the size, ingredients, or seasonings used. The humble beginning of Jumeokbap can be traced from the old days when Koreans did not have the luxury and had to prepare simple and easy meals for basic sustenance.

Jumeokbap is versatile because it is easy to make and take anywhere to eat. Nowadays, families use leftover rice with a few other ingredients, form them into balls using their hands for convenient travel food or lunchbox additions.

seaweed fist rice balls

How to Serve Seaweed Rice Balls

These Seaweed Rice Balls are actually very versatile because you can play with lots of filling variations, not only limited to seaweed only. You can try adding vegetables or meat into these rice balls to make them more fulfilling and nutritious. This menu is the best on-the-go lunch for adults or kids. But in Korea, they are especially known to go along with spicy foods.

I have a low tolerance for spicy food but cannot help to fulfill my cravings for Korean food. We all know that Koreans love a good spicy dish and use chili peppers in a number of dishes, and one of them is Dakgangjeong. Dakgangjeong (닭강정) is a deep-fried crispy chicken dish glazed in a sticky, sweet, and spicy sauce. I made this dish after watching a Korean variety show called Youn’s Kitchen. Seaweed Rice Balls are basically a tongue saver to relieve the spiciness of the sauce.

seaweed rice balls jumeokbap
seaweed rice balls jumeokbap

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seaweed rice balls jumeokbap
4.5 from 42 votes

Seaweed Rice Balls

Koreans occasionally make Seaweed Rice Balls to ease the pain from eating spicy food as rice is one of the food items that can extinguish the fire in your mouth.
Author: Jaja Bakes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Korean
Servings: 9 rice balls
Tap or hover to scale!
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes


  • 2 cups steaming short-medium grain rice
  • 3 sheets seaweed sheets
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil, more for coating the plastic glove
  • sesame seeds, for garnish


  • Cut the seaweed sheets into small pieces with a scissor or put the seaweed sheets into a food processor and process until coarsely shredded.
  • In a medium bowl, mix rice, shredded seaweed, soy sauce, and sesame oil until incorporated.
  • Put a plastic glove on one hand. Add a little bit of oil to the plastic glove so that the rice does not stick. When the rice is warm enough to handle (not cold), put 2 tablespoons of rice on your palm and squeeze lightly until the rice sticks together. Shape it into a ball. 
  • Repeat until the rice is finished. Garnish with sesame seeds


You can also use the seasoned roasted seaweed or seaweed flakes for this recipe.



Serving: 1rice ball | Calories: 47kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.05g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 9mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.02g | Vitamin A: 43IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
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4.48 from 42 votes (39 ratings without comment)

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  3. They are delicious. What a clear and simple recipe. Thanks so much Jacinta I am a 73 year old from Atlantic Canada. Keep up the good work…

  4. 4 stars
    Pretty good! I enjoyed the recipe and it was super easy to make. I don’t know how to make it taste better, but I’m satisfied with how the recipe tasted now. Initially, I expected the jumeokbap to be very salty and oily while I was mixing it, but I was surprised when the flavor tasted like a typical jumeokbap. I never realized they added that much soy sauce and sesame oil. Thank you for sharing this recipe, and bye!

  5. I just made these and used Tamari instead of soy sauce since were gluten free, they are really good! Will be a regular item around here from now on. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hello there, you can use either short grain rice (also known as sticky rice/Japanese rice/sushi rice) or medium grain rice for the recipe. Any kind of rice is fine as long as it is sticky enough to hold together. Use the short grain rice for the best result.

  6. Hi! These look awesome! May i ask which soya sauce is suitable for this recipe? There are many soy sauces on the market eg. light, dark, sweet etc

    1. Hi, I usually use light soy sauce because it is thinner and does not turn the food a lot darker. Add 1 tsp soy sauce first and taste before adding more if you want it saltier.