If you have some sour kimchi, canned tuna, and leftover rice, turn them into delicious kimchi tuna onigiri and kimchi seaweed rice balls. They are fun and easy to create and makes a perfect finger food.

Kimchi tuna onigiri and kimchi seaweed rice balls made with leftover rice, and canned tuna.

Do you have some leftover rice and sour kimchi? Perhaps the first inspiration you get to use up those rice and kimchi would be making kimchi bacon fried rice. How about Kimchi Tuna onigiri and kimchi seaweed rice balls?

I have more than enough extremely fermented kimchi sitting in my fridge since last fall. I bought 22 lbs of kimchi.  A hefty 22 lbs! I have too much fermented kimchi, so I made these kimchi tuna onigiri and rice balls with them.

I guess I went temporarily crazy at the moment when I heard that the kimchi was made in Korea with Korean cabbages then air-shipped to Malaysia. The minimum purchase was 20 lbs with bonus 2 lb. Without a doubt, I thought I could eat them all. But I couldn’t. I need to use up before spring comes.

Fortunately, these kimchi tuna onigiri and rice balls came into a rescue. My kids loved them all.

Here is one recipe. Well, it’s more likely two recipes. Wait! it is actually one recipe that can be used in two ways. Anyway, got some sour kimchi and a can of tuna? I will show you what you can do with them.

1. Kimchi Tuna Stuffed Ongiri (jumukbap)

As you can tell, they are similar to Japanese onigiri. Here is a beauty shot!

Kimchi Tuna onigiri are dipped in sesame seeds

The recipe itself is ridiculously simple but the outcome is like something you would get from a fancy Japanese restaurant. Let’s take a look.

Kimchi and canned tuna is ready for making onigiri.

Introducing Mrs. Sour and Mr. Tuna

Drain the liquid off from the canned tuna using a strainer.

Drain your humble tuna. Press to suck the juice out of him. Discard the juice – You don’t need it!

Chop kimchi into tiny pieces.

Chop Mrs. Sour (kimchi) to teeny-tiny pieces. The green mound on the blurred background is chopped green onion, in case you are wondering. I am salivating. Are you?

Adding a small amount of gochujang into kimchi tuna mixture.

Saute the kimchi with some kimchi juice for 3 minutes. Add tuna and 1 teaspoonful (or more if you desire) of Korean chili paste. Stir and saute for 2 more minutes until the mixture looks somewhat dry. Yes, dryness is what you want.

Sesame oil brings a nice fragrance to the kimchi tuna mixture.

Add the green onions and a little bit of sesame oil. Toss. Done!

The kimchi tuna filling for onigiri is ready

Don’t scroll down to see the rest of the post. All you need is to sprinkle this crazily delicious fried kimchi on top of a bowl of rice and eat. And be happy rest of the day!

But if you must see what Holly has done with it, … please, continue.

What type of seaweed to use?

Roasted seaweed sheet is need to make onigiri

This is a plain roasted seaweed packet. Not to be confused with seasoned roasted. Each packet has 10 sheets and you will need just one. Okay, maybe two.

Cut a sheet of roasted seaweed into 8 pieces.

Slice into 8 strips.

Season rice with some salt

Season freshly cooked rice with a couple pinches of salt.

Onigiri Sushi Press

A triangle rice patty tool is used to make kimchi tuna onigiri.

Have you seen this Onigiri tool like this one in Korean stores? It is similar to Onigiri mold. This makes the job easy and fun. I think I paid USD $1.50 for it.

If you can’t find one or don’t bother to invest one that will eventually clutter your kitchen drawers, you can use your hands to shape the patties.

The bottom of triangle tool is showing.

The bottom of the triangle tool. Pressing this bottom will help to release rice patties easily.

A spoonful of rice is pressed into the onigiri tool.

Put some rice to half way to the container and press down gently.

Add a small amount for kimchi tuna filling on top of rice.

Place the kimchi tuna filling (about 1 Tablespoonful) in the center. Leave edges & corners unfilled.

Add more rice to cover the top.

Put more rice to the top.

Press with a lid to secure the rice and filling.

Close the lid. The lid will push down the rice to stick to each other.

Rice patties tool is turned upside down on the cutting board.

Remove the lid and press the bottom to release the patty.

Rice is well formed into triangle shaped onigiri with kimchi tuna filling inside.


Wrap the rice onigiri with a piece of seaweed on the bottom.

Let’s cover this naked rice guy with his pants.

Triangle shaped onigiri is completed.

Ladies & Gentlemen, here is my friend, “RiceBob SquarePants”.

Dip the top of onigiri into toasted sesame seeds.

Dip his head in the puddle of sesame seeds. This will give him some hair. I mixed white roasted sesame seeds with black sesame seeds.

Kimchi tuna onigiri is a great way to use up the leftover rice.

I took a bite of him. I was way too hungry. Nibble, nibble.. yum!!! This is very delicious, guys!

Then, I thought there might be someone who doesn’t want to go through all the trouble building this RiceBob, so I have a quick solution for those. The rice balls!

2. Kimchi Seaweed Rice Balls

Mix kimchi tuna filling with rice in a bowl.

Add the kimchi tuna mixture to the rice.

Rice and mixed with kimchi, tuna and sesame seeds in a bowl with a spoon.

Mix them up. Add some sesame seeds if you like.

Roll the kimchi tuna rice into a small bite sized ball shape.

Roll them up in your hands – whatever size you like.

Choice of seaweed

Korean seasoned roasted seaweed is used in this recipe.

This time, let’s use different seaweeds. This is the seasoned and roasted seaweeds. My kid’s favorite way of eating rice is just like what the package picture shows.

A packet of dried seaweed snack is shown.

They look like this. So good to eat with plain rice. My blue eyed nephews and nieces eat them as a snack.

Put the roasted seaweed in a bag and crush them.

Put them in a plastic bag and crush them madly. Very madly.

Coat the tuna kimchi rice balls with crumbled seaweed.

Then, roll your rice balls in them.  Put the very first one in your mouth. And give yourself a ‘Hooray!’

I think these balls might be perfect to put on Halloween table since they ‘sort of’ carry the spooky black shade to match the Halloween theme. What-da-ya-think?

Now, which one did I like better, the Ricebob or the spooky balls? I will be honest. I liked the Ricebob better.  All because he is wearing pants. Just kidding!

They both had similar taste but I prefer the flavor and the texture of rice and kimchi getting mingled in my mouth rather than all combined when it entered. But seriously, both are good on their own.

I still have lots of kimchi left. Alas!!!  Okay, this was one unexpected long post. I’m out now. Thanks for reading!

Kimchi tuna rice balls are coated with crumbled seaweed

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Kimchi tuna onigiri and kimchi seaweed rice balls made with leftover rice, and canned tuna.

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Kimhi Tuna Filling

  • 1 cup very fermented sour kimchi , chopped
  • 5 oz canned tuna, drained well
  • 3 tbsp kimchi juice
  • 2 green onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • toasted white and black sesame seeds
  • 4 cups cooked short grain white rice

Kimchi Seaweed Rice Balls



To make the kimchi tuna filling

  • Saute kimchi in kimchi juice over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add tuna and stir to continue sauteing until kimchi is somewhat soft and the mixture seems a little dry.
  • Add green onion and heat through. Add sesame oil and stir. Set aside to cool a little.
  • Season rice with a couple of pinches of salt.

To make kimchi tuna onigiri

  • In a rice patty presser, fill rice to halfway up. Place a tablespoon of kimchi tuna filling over the rice leaving edges and corners untouched. Fill more rice on top to cover to the rim of the presser. Cover the lid and press down. Uncover and release the patty by pushing the bottom of the press.
  • Cut a sheet of plain roasted seaweed into 8 strips. Wrap the bottom of the rice patties with the seaweed strips.
  • Dip one corner of rice patties in the roasted sesame seeds to coat.

To make kimchi seaweed rice balls

  • Mix kimchi tuna filling and 1 tablespoon sesame seeds with rice. Roll the mixture to make small balls, about the size of golf ball.
  • Crush seasoned roasted seaweeds in a plastic bags until they get crushed into small pieces. Roll the rice balls to coat with seaweeds.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @beyondkimchee on Instagram. I love to see your masterpiece.