Jumeok-Bap (Korean Rice Balls)

Jumeok means fist and Bap means rice in Korean. These Hand shaped rice balls are the perfect snack or accompaniment to a meal and you can vary the fillings as you wish. For a meat free version, try roasted red bell pepper diced into small pieces. The best rice to use is Japanese short-grain for the sticky texture when shaping. Use a slightly higher water to rice ratio when cooking as you want the rice to be sticky enough to roll.

Serves: 4-6

Time: 30mins


RICE COOKER (or pot with lid)




200g short-grain rice + 250ml water

or use a cup to measure ratio

good pinch salt

1 tbsp sesame oil or vegetable

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp sugar



1 pack ground beef

1.5 tbsp gochujang fermented pepper paste

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp minced ginger / ginger powder

½ tsp white pepper



Check your rice cooker settings before getting started. Add the rice to the rice cooker bowl and wash 3 times. Do so by covering with cold water and swishing the rice with your hand, then pour off the cloudy/starchy water (without losing any rice down the sink) and repeat this process 3 times. On the final rinse, you should strain out all the water and leave the rice behind in the bowl. Add cooking water and soak for 30 minutes (you can skip this step if you don’t have time but the texture will be better). Add salt & 1 tsp oil to the pot, cover with a lid and follow the manual’s instructions.


Wash rice as above, add water/salt/oil, stir once then cover with a lid. Bring rice to a boil then lower the heat to simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork.


Combine the rice vinegar and sugar then pour it over the rice. Stir to coat the grains.



Place ground beef in a bowl and season with soy, ginger and white pepper. Mix well. Add the beef to a cold frying pan and heat up gently, breaking up the meat with a spatula as you go. Fry until browned. Add gochujang or some extra soy sauce and mix well. Repeat this step with the honey. Transfer cooked beef to a bowl.


Take the cooked, cool rice and add sesame oil. Mix well with your hands so the grains are evenly coated. Season with salt to taste. Take a small amount and flatten it in your palm, add a spoonful of beef in the centre and carefully wrap the edges of the rice around the filling then roll into a smooth sphere. Give it a firm squeeze. A little oil on the palm of your hand will make this easier.

optional seaweed coating (Gim): Crush up a few seaweed sheets into a bowl and roll the rice balls so that it sticks to the surface or alternately roll in some toasted sesame!



Airtight container in the fridge: 1 day/ overnight max

Top Tips:

To revive jumeok, dip in a beaten egg and fry, or you can eat leftovers as a rice bowl