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If kids had it their way, they would have dessert for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. And as a parent, you always want to make your kids happy — but realistically, giving into this specific request probably wouldn’t be the healthiest (or the smartest) thing to do. The good news is, they’re bound to be equally as thrilled with this nutritious alternative — Ohagi AKA Japanese Rice Balls!
This healthy take on a Japanese recipe combines rice, sugar, and beans to create the perfect, kid-sized desserts that will satisfy your kiddo’s cravings. Have your little ones dip each rice ball in selected toppings of their choice, such as chia seeds and sweet peas, to create the ultimate sweet treats that they won’t be able to get enough of!
Japanese Rice Balls
Makes: 6 servings (2 rice balls per serving)
Red Bean Paste Ingredients
- 15 ounces kidney beans, drained
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
Rice Ball Ingredients
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup sweet rice, dried
Topping Ingredients (optional)
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon sweet peas
- 1 teaspoon almonds
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
- Make red bean paste by placing kidney beans and sugar in a pot on a medium heat. Mix beans and sugar together.
- Mash beans with a potato masher and stir thoroughly. Cook until bean paste is slightly firm.
- Place bean paste in a bowl in the refrigerator until it fully cools and hardens.
- For rice balls, combine water and rice in a pot and stir to mix. Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to low and let sit for 10-15 minutes until water is absorbed.
- Crush rice with a mortar and pestle moistened with water until rice is halfway mushed.
- Place about 1 teaspoon of bean paste flattened in your palm. Add a small amount of mashed rice in the center. Roll bean paste into a ball with until it fully covers the rice.
- If desired, roll bean paste and rice ball combination into various toppings of your choice, such as chia seeds and almonds.