For the rice balls:
- 1 cup uncooked short-grain white rice
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 egg, well beaten
- 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 can (8 ounces) water chestnuts, finely chopped
- 5 pickled jalapenos, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Lettuce or cabbage leaves to prevent rice balls from sticking
For the dipping sauce:
- 6 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons simple syrup (equal amounts of sugar and water heated until sugar melts, then cooled)
Rinse rice and soak for 2 to 3 hours. Drain and set aside.
Cover a baking sheet with waxed paper. Spread the rice onto a flat surface and roll the balls of chicken to coat with rice. Place the rice balls on the waxed paper, cover with a second piece of waxed paper, and refrigerate or freeze for at least 1 hour. Once chilled, you can transfer the rice balls to an airtight container, separating them with layers of waxed paper, and refrigerate or freeze for future use.
When it's almost time to serve, boil water in a pot or the bottom half of a steamer. Line the steaming basket or top half of the steamer with the lettuce leaves, place the rice balls on top of the lettuce, cover, and steam over a rolling boil for about 30 minutes.
To make the dipping sauce, stir together the soy sauce, lime juice, and simple syrup. Serve in a small bowl alongside the rice balls.