Seaweed Sushi Balls

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This delicious and fun sushi recipe is great for lunch or dinner!

Our Seaweed Sushi Ball are a fun DIY sushi idea!

Sushi lovers, rejoice! Our seaweed sushi balls featuring ahi tuna, avocado, cucumber, and quinoa, change the whole sushi game. These sushi pouches are super easy to make and you don’t need a mat to keep them in shape. A little patience and some nori sheets make for a big ball of meal fun! Plus, preparing your own sushi at home can save you a few bucks!

Get Your Rice/Quinoa Mixture Hot

These cute little sushi balls are a fun spin on dinner.

Because sushi rice is a total carb bomb, we tricked out our seaweed sushi ball with some quinoa. Our sushi pouch tastes just as good as regular sushi. This version, though, rocks with an additional dimension of texture and nutty flavor. By providing a mixture of half rice/half quinoa, the carb load decreases. What’s more, quinoa’s superpower lies in its pseudocereals role of providing essential micronutrients that aren’t available in sushi rice. Still, though, sushi isn’t sushi without that yummy short grain white rice, am I right?

Due to the fact that seaweed needs moisture in order to adhere to anything, it’s extremely important to keep your starches very warm. The steam alone from the rice will bond to the seaweed, making for a tighter sushi ball. Although you can use water (and you probably will), too much water can make your end result soggy. A bit of rice wine vinegar mixed into the hot rice provides that sweet/sour taste we associate with sushi. Additional moisture provided by vinegar also helps to adhere the seaweed.

Ahi Tuna Or Salmon Are Best

Homemade sushi is a must-try if you've never made it before.

In order to maximize nutrients, try to include a nice fatty fish such as salmon or tuna. Those heart healthy Omega 3 fatty acids are an excellent choice for sushi pouches. Even better, add a big chunk of avocado, and you are good to go. Although we know the optimal choice for sushi is raw grade fish, these little sushi balls still taste amazing with either canned or pouched fish. 

Seaweed Sushi Balls Come Together Easily

This simple sushi recipe is high in protein and loaded with delicious flavor.

Sheets of nori are easily found, and you can either go with a seasoned or unseasoned sheet. Because I was taught how to make these by seasoning them over a flame or on an electric coil, I’m including instructions. Sprinkle a few drops of oil on the sheet and rub it with another sheet. Later, you’ll add filling to the seasoned side. Lightly sprinkle with table salt or togarashi spice blend, if you have it. You can either heat up the edges over a burner (careful not to singe) or you can keep it as is. Alternatively, skipping this step will omit unnecessary fat and sodium. The sushi ball will still taste incredible.

Once you’ve prepped the seaweed, put a quarter cup of rice/quinoa mix, a thick strip of fish, a slice of avocado, and a strip of cucumber in the middle of the sheet. Ideally, you want room around all sides of the ingredients to enclose the matter. Think of it, if you will, like gift wrapping. 

Gift Wrap Sushi Pouch

Make your own sushi as a party appetizer, light lunch, or healthy dinner!

Now it’s time to make food sculptures. Fold the seaweed from all four directions, until you can shape it into a ball. If you turn the pouch over, you can actually mold the seam together. If the seaweed doesn’t yield very easily or begins to break, dip a forefinger into a little bowl of water and run your finger along the area in question. If the water doesn’t work immediately, just keep working the ball in your hands, pressing the seaweed tighter. It’s not unusual to fail on the first attempt, which is something most cooks call “the sacrifice”. Trust in the process, add some patience, don’t rush, and the results will look and taste incredible. 

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Seaweed Sushi Balls

The best method for quick, packable sushi!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 10 people
Serving Size 1 Ball
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Asian


  • 10 seaweed sheets nori
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups rice short grain
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa cooked
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 avocados thickly sliced
  • 1 pound ahi tuna seared, cut in 1/4 inch strips lengthwise
  • I cucumber cut in long strips, then halved
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds


  • Season the seaweed with sesame oil and salt. Rubbing two sheets together with the oil on one side only works. Toast the seaweed by holding it gently over the gas burner or electric coil on the stove. This is optional and requires a bit of skill, but it’s worth it.
  • Mix together both the rice and quinoa, add in the vinegar, and either reheat it in the microwave for a few minutes or on a pot on the stove. Make sure you can see actual steam coming off the mix.
  • Seasoned side up, fill the center with 1/4 cup mixture of quinoa/rice mix, top that with a piece of tuna, and set a slice of avocado and cucumber side by side so that the ingredients are neatly lined up. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
  • Make a ball or a pouch with the seaweed by tucking in the sides in to the center. If the seaweed isn’t yielding, dip a finger into a ramekin of water and run it along the feisty section. Now shape the ball in both hands by rolling and squeezing everything together. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1Ball | Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 152mg | Potassium: 581mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2353IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 3mg |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 10
Keywords High Protein

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To learn more ways to integrate seaweed into your diet, read Celebrate Sea Vegetables: 3 Great Seaweed Snacks for Your Healthy Body

Also Check out our 5 Tips for Packing a Healthy Lunch.

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Alison Borel

Alison Borel came into the culinary world by owning and operating three family restaurants with her husband in San Diego. During that time, she tested, wrote, and taught all the recipes used by her team. She also led cooking classes for small groups. Familiar with vegan and vegetarian cuisine from working in an organic cafe and camp, her preference lies in a plant-based whole foods diet. Alison knows eating for longevity and nutrition not only tastes good, but feels good too.

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