Rice Balls

Omo Tuo

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Preparation info

  • Makes

    3 to 4

    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Ghana Cookbook

By Fran Osseo-Asare and Barbara Baëta

Published 2015

  • About

These are oh-so-easy-to-make and go well with almost any West African soup, but especially Chicken Peanut Soup.


  • 1 cup any white rice (short-grain rice is preferred)
  • ½ teaspoon salt



  1. Bring the rice, 3 to 4 cups of water, and salt to a boil in a large heavy pot. Turn down the heat to low, cover, and allow the rice to cook 15 to 20 minutes. If necessary, take off the lid and let it cook down another 5 to 10 minutes. When the rice is cooked but not completely dry, turn off the heat and let it sit until it is cool enough to handle.
  2. Using a potato masher, a strong wooden spoon, a heavy glass, or an apotoriwa (a wooden mashing tool wonderfully easy to hold and use), mash the rice until it is fairly smooth.
  3. Fill a cup with cold water and place next to the pan. Wet hands with the cold water, then dip an ice cream scoop or spoon into the water and scoop up enough rice to shape into a ball, like a snowball. Squeeze the ball tightly with your hands to pack the rice together well. If the ball will not stick together, put the rice back on the stove to dry it out slightly.


  • To make these using an electric rice cooker, decrease the water to 2½ to 3 cups and turn off the cooker when the rice is cooked and most of the water is gone.
  • Make the rice balls using brown rice. Brown rice balls are somewhat heavier. Use more water and allow a longer cooking time.

To serve

Small balls may replace bread when served as a first course (e.g., with a light soup). Use a small spoon or melon baller (dipped in water first) to scoop out the rice and then shape tiny balls and serve 2 or 3 in each bowl of soup.

Make ahead: Rice balls can be made ahead of time and warmed in the oven or microwave (covered with a damp paper towel) or a steamer just before serving. They are also easily frozen.