Cookbook:Tri-Colored Autumn Rice Balls

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes

Tri-colored Autumn Rice Balls (San-Shoku Ohagi)

Ohagi is a simple a tea sweet, which was at one time served during the autumn equinox celebration. The name comes from a type of bush clover that only blooms in the fall. Serve these rice balls with your finest cup of tea.


  • 3 cups prepared steamed sweet rice
  • 1/4 cup toasted black sesame seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup smooth Japanese bean paste (koshi-an), chilled
  • 1/2 cup roasted soybean powder (kinako) or toasted ground pecans.


  1. Mix sesame seeds and sugar in a small bowl.
  2. Moisten your hands with water and divide warm rice into 12 equal portions.
  3. Shape 4 portions into balls. Moisten a clean dish towel and squeeze dry.
  4. Place 2 1/2 tablespoons bean paste on towel; pat into 4 inch circle.
  5. Place 1 rice ball in centre of bean paste circle and use towel to mould bean paste around the rice ball.
  6. Repeat this 3 more times, using another 1/2 cup of bean paste and the other 3 rice balls.
  7. Place these on a nice serving tray. Flatten the remaining eight rice portions.
  8. Form the remaining bean paste into 8 balls (about 2 teaspoons per ball). Place a bean paste ball in the centre of each piece of flattened rice and shape the rice around it.
  9. Mould these stuffed rice balls into oval shapes. Roll 4 ovals in the sesame-sugar mixture. Roll the other 4 balls in the roasted soybean powder. Add these to the serving tray.

Makes six servings of 2 rice balls each.