these panda rice balls are hard to bear

panda rice balls

When I saw these on Pinterest, I just had to get the details. How does the rice stick together? Is that black licorice? Or wet leaves? Is it true that pandas only have three toes?

As usual, finding an original source from a pretty picture on Pinterest was no easy task. But I was determined, and finally tracked the panda rice balls down on All the answers – with complete instructions to make my own rice-based bears – were finally right in front of me!

In Japanese.

I don’t know if reader Jillian was just winging it from the Pinterest picture or if she mistranslated the recipe, but what started out as a treat for her son’s preschool class turned into a very confusing game of Name That Animal.

panda rollsWell, I say it’s time that kids started learning what a panda crossed with a raccoon wearing Charlie Brown’s lopsided-eye Halloween ghost costume would look like, and now they know. Well done, Jillian!

As far as school snacks are concerned though, I don’t think these will make the endangered list.

panda rice balls nailed itNeed more laughs? Head to Hollow Tree Ventures, where Robyn fails so much you’ll hardly be able to bear it. (See what I did there? Sorry about that.)

7 Responses to these panda rice balls are hard to bear

  1. Jillian says:

    Thanks for posting these! My son goes to “Little Pandas Preschool” and on the last day they were having a healthy pot-luck. I thought they would be cute. The kids didn’t even know what they were. LOL :)

  2. robyn says:

    @Jillian – all was not lost! Now instead of a successful snack for a few kids, you’ve brought smiles to thousands of people. Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. Tehillah says:

    Haaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! That’s exactly how they’d look if I tried to make these!

  4. I’ve actually spent a while lately figuring out how to make California rolls and I have these rice-ball tips.

    1)Use real “sushi” rice; it sticks together better than other rice. I bought Kokuho Rose brand.

    2)Make the rice according to the “sticky rice” recipe at the end of this New York Times article:

    and mix in 5 Tbsps. rice vinegar, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 2 Tbsp. sugar.

    3) To handle the rice, mix 2 Tbsps. rice vinegar with a cup of water and moisten your hands before gathering up each ball.

    4) Make the black panda details out of nori. Buy the pre-toasted kind; it’s stiff and green. You can probably cut out the shapes with scissors.

    Hope this helps!

  5. Traci D. Haley says:

    To me these don’t look *that* bad… they’re just a bit longer than the original ones!

  6. Oh my, how ADORABLE!!! Hmmm, i think my attempt would be a fail too, though is it a ‘fail’ if we have fun making it?! Hmm, if not fun, then it’s a why-on-earth-did-i-even-attempt :) If fun (including getting laughs from it) then it’s aaaall good!

  7. cds says:

    If the balls had been fatter and more egg shaped it would have been perfect. You actually did a great job at cutting out the eyes and stuff with the seaweed.

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