Healthy Snacking | Sushi Balls w. Tofu, Avocado & Tamari Mayo

Healthy Snacking | Sushi Balls w. Tofu, Avocado & Tamari Mayo

This recipe uses a delicious basic marinaded tofu filling. You can also use this method to make sushi balls with other fillings that you like and make different kinds. If you enjoy seaweed nori flakes are a wonderful addition to these balls. You can also wrap the balls in nori sheets (cut in half) to make hand rolls. Try making them with your kids and letting them help pick and make the fillings and roll the balls.

TIP Here are a few alternative suggestions for sushi ball fillings: cooked teriyaki chicken pieces, smoked salmon and avocado, cooked or raw sushi-grade tuna or salmon with mayo and avocado and cucumber. You can fill them basically any filling you like.

NOTE You need approx. 3 cups cooked rice for this recipe. (1½ cups uncooked rice and 3 cups water). Follow the directions on the package of rice for cooking and allow the rice to cool enough so you can comfortably handle it when making the balls. To cool the rice quickly, spread it on a tray or larger plate. You can use an ice cream scoop or ¼ measuring cup to measure the rice.

MAKES 12 balls

COOKING TIME approx. 20 minutes for rice cooking

PREP TIME 20 – 25 minutes


  • 3 cups cooked sticky rice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp black sesame seeds (optional, or more white ones)
  • 1 tbsp nori seaweed flakes (optional)
  • 2 spring onions finely chopped (optional).

Marinaded Tofu Filling Ingredients

  • 1 block firm tofu cut in bite-size cubes
  • 3 tsp tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup or honey (optional, to taste)
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice (optional)
  • 1 tsp nori seaweed flakes (optional).

Tamari Mayo Dressing Ingredients

  • ½ cup mayonnaise (or vegan mayo)
  • 2 tbsp water (to thin sauce)
  • 1 – 2 tbsp tamari (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice (to taste)
  • ½ – 1 tsp wasabi paste (optional, to taste).

Optional for Serving

  • Avocado slices
  • ½ cup toasted sesame seeds
  • Tamari (for dipping the sushi in)
  • Pickled ginger
  • Wasabi.


Cook rice according to package directions and cool for at least 15 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, mix the vinegar, maple syrup and sea salt together in a small bowl, stirring until well combined and then set aside. Marinade the tofu and make the mayo dressing and chill until ready to serve.

Marinaded Tofu

Place the tofu cubes in a medium bowl and pour in the tamari, maple syrup and lime juice (if using nori flakes add them in too) and gently spoon over the tofu. Marinade for at least 15 minutes to 1 hour and drain before using the tofu. You can save the marinade for using as a dipping sauce for the balls, if you like.

Mayo Sauce

Place all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Taste and add a little more tamari, maple syrup and/or lime juice, if desired. You may need to add a little more water to thin. You can make the sauce a few hours ahead and chill until ready to serve.

Then transfer the rice to a large stainless steel or glass bowl and pour in the vinegar mixture and gently mix until the rice is completely coated and then add in the sesame seeds, spring onions and if using nori flakes add them in too and gently mix into the rice.

Sushi Balls

Measure approx. ¼ cup (60 ml) cooked rice into the palm of your hand and flatten. Then place a tofu cube in the centre of rice. You could also add a small piece of avocado and pickled ginger, if you like. Then form the rice into a ball enclosing the filling and set on a plate or tray as you make them.

After you have formed all the balls you can roll them in sesame seeds and serve immediately drizzled with tamari mayo sauce. You can also serve with avocado slices, pickled ginger, wasabi paste and tamari.

If you would prefer to serve them later the balls can be stored in a covered glass container and refrigerated for up to 3 days. 

Sending Joy 

You may love Chef Kate’s cookbook, The Flavour of Joy. Containing stories to inspire, amuse and uplift as well as delicious, healthy recipes you’ll love.

Kate uses local organic and sustainable ingredients in her tasty and nutritious recipes, also including superfoods and medicinal herbs in her dishes to create healthy and nourishing food for the body, mind, and spirit.

@chefkatemcaloon |

Images by Holly Kent | @hollyvkent

Holly Wood

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