Baked Asian rice balls recipe from FOX 7 Austin’s Tierra Neubaum

Over the past couple of weeks, FOX 7 Austin's Tierra Neubaum been highlighting local spots offering takeout or delivery during this pandemic & then, sharing ideas with the leftovers. 

This week, Tierra got food from Bento Picnic which has healthy Japanese style meals featuring five colors, five tastes, and five cooking techniques. It's located at 2600 East Cesar Chavez St. and its current (as of 5/15/2020) temporary hours are Tuesdays-Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Bento Picnic is open for curbside and delivery and is offering free delivery through May 23, 2020 within five miles. Details here.

Tierra decided to use her Bento Picnic leftovers and make some baked Asian rice balls, her spin on the classic Japanese dish yaki onigiri.

1 cup leftover brown rice
2 Tbsp soy sauce
4 Tbsp tahini (peanut butter or almond butter can work too)
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup cooked carrot, finely diced
1/2 cooked chicken breast, finely diced
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 eggs (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425°
Mix rice, soy sauce, tahini, sesame oil, carrot & chicken (& 1 egg, if using) Scoop small size parts of the mixture, pack tightly and shape into balls (If using egg, dip rice balls in whisked egg) Coat rice balls in breadcrumbs Bake at 425° for 15-20 mins in a non-stick coated muffin pan

Tip: Leave the rice balls in the pan to cool completely before taking them out. Otherwise, they will not hold together.

Alternative: If you don’t want to get messy, make muffins with the mixture. Spray the pan before filling the muffin cups.