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How to Make a Football Musubi

Since today is Superbowl Sunday, it’s too late for people to make these for a party today, but there’s still football potlucks and tailgating later this year that this can be used for, so I figured I might as well do a tutorial for people. I got an email from someone here on Oahu wanting me to make them a tray of 15 Colt musubis and 5 Saints musubis, but since this is basically impossible without 40 hands, I compromised with 40 musubis including one each of the team ones.

Football Musubi

As usual, what could go wrong did go wrong. The brand new bag of rice I bought at Don Quijote had weevils or something in it. I washed 5 cups and tons of black stuff floated to the top. I was livid and had to go out to Foodland at 7 am to buy a new bag. Then later, I ran out of furikake and somehow in the dozen bottles I had stashed at home, I didn’t have any Katsuo Mirin. I ended up delivering them 40 minutes late. *sigh*

My pictures of the tray were really rushed, so they’re blurry and the color looks terrible. Since the pictures look so bad, I’ll just focus on the tutorial. I’ll show you how to make one of these without needing a mold. I don’t know if any exist, anyway.

Before I get to the photos, here’s the full recipe:

Football Musubis

Makes 12 musubi


  • 5 cups rice, cooked
  • 1 bottle Katsuo Mirin furikake (Mishima brand)
  • salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp cornstarch


  1. Cook the rice. You should end up with around 10 cups of cooked rice.
  2. Pour furikake into a shallow bowl. Pick out the strips of nori. (optional) Use a fork to break the furikake pieces into a finer texture.
  3. Form musubi and roll in furikake.
  4. Dilute cornstarch with some water and add to egg white. Beat well and strain.
  5. Heat pan on low heat and wipe with olive oil. Add egg white to pan and cook until set, then remove pan from heat. Cover and let sit for a few minutes, then remove to a plate to cool.
  6. Cut the egg into strips and add laces to footballs.

I use a Panasonic rice cooker warmer, but when I have the funds, I’ll probably try to get myself a Zojirushi such as the Zojirushi NS-TGC10 5-1/2-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer. My Panasonic burns the bottom of my rice when I use Quick Cook, which drives me nuts because if I want to avoid that, I have to wait 50 minutes for my rice.

Anyway, the first thing to do is to get a dipping bowl for your furikake and pour the whole thing in. Katsuo mirin is full of strips of nori, so if you want your footballs to be free of little black strips, pick them out. I just washed and dried my hands and used my fingers, but tweezers might be good too. I tried wetting the tip of a toothpick and touching the nori, but that took forever. Feed the nori pieces to your two-legged garbage disposals if you have some.


Take a fork and break up the big pieces of katsuobushi.  The flakes are pretty big, so it won’t coat well if you don’t do this.


You should end up with a nice fine dust with sesame seeds. You’ll have a lot more than this, I just took a photo of a little bit. Remove your rice pot from the cooker and wet a paper towel to cover the rice. This should help keep it moist while you work.


Take a chawan and remember how much rice you put into it so that all your footballs are the same size. Try to do this after the rice has cooled a bit or you’ll end up with burned hands like me.


Lay a piece of Saran Wrap on your work surface. When you’re ready to form a musubi, wet your hands and dip them in salt. Rub the salt all over your hands and pour the rice out into your hands. Shape it into a football.


If it looks like a bicycle helmet or a UFO, that’s okay, that’s what the plastic wrap is for.


Fold the wrap over to cover the musubi.


Press the musubi into a better football shape, using the plastic wrap to make nice corners and a nice curved shape.

Football Musubi

Remove the wrap and you should have a nice football shape. Wet your hands again before picking it up or rice kernels will come off on your fingers.


Coat the musubi in the furikake, topping it with a bunch and pressing it in to get a nice, thick coat. Dust it off and place in a tray or on a platter.


There are a lot of options for the laces. For the order I did, I tried boiled egg whites and egg white sheets. The egg whites were really easy to cut very thin and although I loved using it, I think the egg sheet was the best one. You can also use kamaboko, such as I did above as an example. Cut a slice as thin as you can and make long strips for the long lace. Cut another long one into three short strips.

Kamaboko Laces

I didn’t really care for how this came out, as it was a little too thick. It’s hard to cut kamaboko super thin.

Football Musubi with laces

Here’s the football with the kamaboko laces. You can add more if you want, but with this size, 3 works well and I love odd numbered things.

Egg Sheet Laces

This is the egg sheet and I think it’s much better because you can cut long pieces at once and is nice and thin. To make one, dilute 1/2 tsp cornstarch in water and then beat with the egg white. Strain the egg mixture through a sieve and then heat a pan on low. Wipe the pan with oil and pour the egg white in. When it’s set, remove from heat and cover and let it sit. After a few minutes, remove it from the pan and move it to a plate to cool.

Football Musubi

This is the musubi with the egg sheet laces. I found that doing a bunch of musubis and then dipping them all saved me some furikake and let me wash my hands WAY less.

Hope that helps shed some light on how I did my football bento last week! 😀