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Korean Rice Balls (Jumeokbap)

by Yejiskitchenstories

These Korean rice balls (jumeokbap) are made with short-grain rice, various cooked veggies, bulgogi beef, and covered in seaweed or pickled radish. They are perfect for a quick meal or an on-the-go snack. Scroll down to see three rice ball recipes!

What are Korean Rice Balls (Jumeokbap)?

Jumeokbap (주먹밥) are rice balls made from cooked rice, seasoned with sesame oil and roasted seaweed. They are often filled with a variety of veggies, bulgogi, or even canned tuna-mayo mixture. These Korean rice balls are quick and easy to make, making them the perfect in-between meal snack, or packing lunch boxes, or even picnics!

Growing up, my mom used to make these rice balls with leftover rice and banchan (side dishes), such as seasoned anchovies or leftover spam. The best part about these rice balls is that you can really use any combination of ingredients to customize them to your liking!

What you’ll need:

  • Bulgogi filling: I used the same bulgogi marinade from my Bulgogi Sesame Soba Noodle recipe to cook ground beef.
  • Sauteed veggies: I finely diced chives and carrots and cooked them until fragrant. Feel free to use whatever veggies you have in your fridge.
  • Short-grain rice: I recommend short-grain/sushi rice for this recipe because of its sticky texture. Long grain/jasmine rice will not be sticky enough to hold its shape. Fresh rice is the best, but if using leftover rice, make sure to heat it up enough for it to be sticky. *Pro tip: add a cube of ice on top of your leftover rice when you’re microwaving it. It creates steam to help heat the rice up to the perfect texture.
  • Sesame oil: for seasoning the rice and to prevent it from sticking to your hands. *Pro tip: use food-safe gloves or keep a wet towel nearby to prevent the rice from sticking to your hands.
  • Roasted seaweed: I crushed a pack of seaweed and used it to cover the outside of some rice balls as one of the rice ball flavors.
  • Pickled daikon/radish: I finely diced pickled daikon and added it to a portion of the rice mixture as another rice ball flavor.
  • Toasted black sesame seeds: optional, but I added this to my beef & veggie rice balls.
  • Salt: just a pinch to season the rice to taste.

How to make Korean Rice Balls (Jumeokbap):

For Beef & Veggie Rice Balls:

  1. Season the cooked rice with sesame oil and a pinch of salt. Add of the cooked bulgogi beef and of the cooked carrot & chives mixture to the rice. Mix well until combined.
  2. Wearing food-safe gloves, place 2-3 tablespoons of the rice mixture onto the palm of your hands and shape it into a ball.

For Beef & Pickled Radish Rice Balls:

  1. Season the cooked rice with sesame oil and a pinch of salt. Add of the cooked carrot & chives mixture, and finely diced pickled radish to the rice. Mix well until combined.
  2. Wearing food-safe gloves, flatten about 1-2 tablespoons of the rice mixture onto the palms of your hands. Add about 1 tablespoon of the bulgogi beef filling and top it with some rice. Gather the rice between your hands to shape it into a ball, making sure to encase the filling.

For Beef & Roasted Seaweed Rice Balls:

  1. Season the cooked rice with sesame oil and a pinch of salt. Add the remaining of the cooked carrot & chives mixture and the remaining bulgogi beef to the rice. Mix well until combined.
  2. Wearing food-safe gloves, place 2-3 tablespoons of the rice mixture onto the palm of your hands and shape it into a ball.
  3. Crush a packet of roasted seaweed and roll the rice balls in the seaweed, making sure to completely coat the outside.

Watch how to make these Korean Rice Balls (Jumeokbap)

More Favorite Recipes

I hope you enjoy this recipe for Korean Rice Balls (Jumeokbap)! Please leave me a star rating and comment to let me know your thoughts! Happy cooking, xoxo!!

Korean Rice Balls(Jumeokbap)

Serves: 6-8 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 2 voted )

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked white rice, short-grain
  • 1½ cups bulgogi beef, cooked 
  • ½ cup carrots, finely diced
  • ½ cup chives, finely diced
  • ¼ cup pickled daikon/radish, finely diced
  • 1 packet of roasted seaweed, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons of toasted black sesame seeds, optional
  • 3 tablespoons of sesame oil, or more
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

For Beef & Veggie Rice Balls: 

  1. Cook the bulgogi beef according to my recipe for Bulgogi Beef Sesame Soba Noodles
  2. Season the cooked rice with sesame oil and a pinch of salt. Add of the cooked bulgogi beef and of the cooked carrot & chives mixture to the rice. Mix well until combined.
  3. Wearing food-safe gloves, place 2-3 tablespoons of the rice mixture onto the palm of your hands and shape it into a ball.

For Beef & Pickled Radish Rice Balls: 

  1. Season the cooked rice with sesame oil and a pinch of salt. Add of the cooked carrot & chives mixture, and finely diced pickled radish to the rice. Mix well until combined.
  2. Wearing food-safe gloves, flatten about 1-2 tablespoons of the rice mixture onto the palms of your hands. Add about 1 tablespoon of the bulgogi beef filling and top it with some rice. Gather the rice between your hands to shape it into a ball, making sure to encase the filling.

For Beef & Roasted Seaweed Rice Balls:

  1. Season the cooked rice with sesame oil and a pinch of salt. Add the remaining of the cooked carrot & chives mixture and the remaining bulgogi beef to the rice. Mix well until combined.
  2. Wearing food-safe gloves, place 2-3 tablespoons of the rice mixture onto the palm of your hands and shape it into a ball.
  3. Crush a packet of roasted seaweed and roll the rice balls in the seaweed, making sure to completely coat the outside.

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