These aren't your typical rice balls. First, they're made with black rice, which has a nuttiness to it that does not compare to white rice. Then, it's mixed with black tahini for a depth of flavor that's indescribably delicious. Tekka, a miso-based Japanese condiment, is added to the mix to provide a deep, umami, and slightly smoky flavor. The finishing touch is a coating of sesame seeds. These rice balls make the perfect appetizer or light lunch with a side of greens and avocado.

Black Sesame Rice Balls [Vegan]



  • 1 cup black rice
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons black sesame tahini
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (optional, but adds another level of flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon tekka (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons whole, raw sesame seeds


  1. Bring the rice and the water to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the water has been completely absorbed (about 30 minutes).
  2. Let the rice cool to room temp, then mix in the tahini, the tekka, and the sesame oil, if using.
  3. Lightly dry-toast the whole sesame seeds in a stainless pan over medium heat. Don’t overcook.
  4. Form the rice into balls the size of golf balls, then gently roll the balls in the whole sesame seeds.
  5. The rice balls will be somewhat fragile but will hold together well enough to pick them up and eat them.


Tekka is a miso-based condiment that can be found in most Asian groceries.