One of my favorite Erewhon Market favorites from their hot food bar is the rice balls with chili sauce. After my last trip to LA where I came home with a dozen of these savory balls, I decided I needed to recreate them! After a few attempts, I think mine are actually better and more flavorful! The key to a crispy outside and a chewy center is using a sticky/sushi rice and putting them in an air fryer if you have one. If you don’t have an air fryer, baking them at a high heat of 475 degrees also does the trick. The real MVP of this recipe is the chili sauce! I recommend doubling the chili sauce recipe so that you have some extra to serve on the side. I like to serve these rice balls with Szechuan Green Beans and Asian Style Greens & Shitake Mushrooms. If you want a heartier meal and you eat meat, you could serve this with some grilled salmon or teriyaki chicken.
- 1 ¾ cups cooked sticky/sushi rice
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- ¾ cup vegan shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup chopped fresh spinach
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
Sweet Chili Sauce
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon corn starch + 1 teaspoon cold water
- Heat the avocado oil in a fry pan and add onion. Cook until soft and translucent; approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the shredded mozzarella cheese to the onions and stir until melted into the cheese.
- Transfer the onion and cheese mixture to a blender or food processor and add the avocado oil. Blend until the onion and cheese mixture is a gooey paste. This step is key in order to bind the rice balls together.
- In a large bowl, transfer the onion/cheese mixture, add the cooked rice (I recommend this rice cooker if you don’t have one already), spices and spinach, and mix together until well combined.
- Roll the rice mixture into medium sized balls and place on a plate. The rice mixture is going to be a bit sticky, so I recommend wetting your hands to help with this process. Don’t worry about making the balls look perfectly round because you are going to put them into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to harden them a bit. Once they have chilled for a little bit, reform the balls before baking.
- While the rice balls are chilling, make the chili sauce. Add all ingredients (except the corn starch and the 1 teaspoon of cold water) into a small sauce pan and simmer for 2 minutes. Mix the corn starch and cold water and add to the sauce pan. Continue to simmer until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.
- Bake the rice balls in an air fryer (I recommend this air fryer if you don’t have one already) or an oven at 475 degrees until they are golden brown on the outside; about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Coat the balls with the chili sauce and serve.