Nowadays in Japan, you can get Onigiri easily at convenience store (コンビニ、Kobini) at nearly every part of Japan. They are satisfyingly delicious, affordable to your pocket and rich in variety for your picky mouth.
[Anyway, since it is good, Let’s eat ~]
If you have no idea what an ONIGIRI is, no worries, very simple, in short, it is a rice ball that come in either a triangular or round form that usually wrapped in seaweed (のり、Nori). Traditional types often favored with a little seasoning of salt or some pickled ingredients and with the high demand and popularity, various creative fillings and flavors are developed for the mass.
While I was visiting friends in Tokyo last March, I tried many different types of onigiri, from traditionally popular ones, to the latest ones that are just released to the shelves. I like to explore new taste whenever I’m in Japan but I still have my favorites.
Check out them out now:
#1. Kinpira-style Chicken Patty Rice Ball
きんぴらつくね Kinpira tsukune
Kinpira is basically stir fry and simmered Burdock roots or Carrot cooked in sugar and soy sauce.
For this case, Kinpira is chopped finely and add to the chicken patty with a teriyaki finished. It does remind me of our Singapore ‘五香、wu xiang‘. Frankly speaking, it was the only odd ball on the shelve that is in a rectangular shape when I visited the Konbini, so I chose it and ate it. Good. Apparently, it is a limited edition onigiri, so try your luck if you managed to see it.
#2. Grilled Meat Patty Rice Ball
ゴロっと焼つくね Gorotto Yakitsukune
Tried this baby! This Onigiri is considered under the “Big Series Onigiri“, roughly about 1.5 times bigger than the usual one. For those who thinks that just 1 onigiri can’t satisfy you, and 2 might be a little too much, this is my recommendation. (o≧▽ﾟ)oニパッ
For the meat patty inside the onigiri, it’s kind of big and it seems that soft bone is added in that gives a crunchy touch. There is also a lingering taste of garlic and I believe is comes from the sauce that is covering it. Not to mention, between the rice and the patty, there is a layer of mayonnaise that makes any food tastes better!!!
It was really big, filling and tasty.
*Tip: You can put into the microwave for a warm and comfortable taste.
#3. Pork Bone Ramen Soup Flavored Rice with Hard Boiled Egg Rice Ball
とんこつラーメン御飯と煮玉子おむすび Tonkotsu Ramen Gohan to Nitamago Omusubi
This!!! My god, is a powerhouse for me. The moment I saw it laying on the deck, I knew it was calling out to me.
The onigiri stood out from the rest clearly with its visual. You can see that soft creamy texture of the yolk on the egg and know that it is going to be delicious. The rice is cooked using tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen soup. Once it is ready, they put half of the egg with the melting texture yolk, glue the rice together with a layer of mayonnaise, and wrap the whole thing up with a seaweed. If you look hard enough, you will be able to see chopped chashu mixed in it. It is also recommended to microwave it for a tastier and deeper flavor. ヾ(*ΦωΦ)ﾉ
The moment I had that first mouth, oh~~~gosh~~~ that egg yolk worked wonders!!!! It totally melted in my mouth and splashed the mayonnaise into the tonkotsu rice, and made an intense combination of well balance flavor with a whole lot of deliciousness!!!
The only thing that I have regretted was not having eaten more of this! Be sure to try one! （๑￫‿ฺ￩๑）♫ ♫♬♪♫
#1. Niigata Koshihikari Rice Ball with Salmon Roe
新潟コシヒカリおにぎりいくら Niigata Koshihikari Onigiri Ikura
Another powerhouse to introduce to everyone, the Ikura rice ball. Don’t be fooled by the simple look of this onigiri, I’m not sure if anyone know about the rice they are using from this, it is Niigata’s Hoshihikari which is considered to be one of the most priced hybrid rice in Japan for its high quality and stickiness. For the Ikura (Salmon roe), it is well maintained in it’s proud roundness and marinated freshly with a light seasoning of soy sauce. It was put together carefully, preventing the roe from breaking apart.
Now, for the taste.（●≧艸≦）The moment I had a bite of it, the salmon roe just went “Piaa~” “Piaa~”, bursting like little fireworks inside my mouth. Σ(●ﾟдﾟ●) An explosion of flavor for the roe within, instantly binding into the rice, causing the rice to bring out another phenomenal sensation to my bud. A remarkable taste experience not to be missed.
#2. Grilled Cod Roe with Mayonnaise Rice Ball
焼たらこ マヨネーズ Yakitarako Mayonezu
Another new invention I might say, it is made from two different cod roe, one is salted and marinated with sake lees(leftovers from sake production, a good pickling agent) and the other is seasoned with soy sauce and mixed well with my favorite almighty Japanese mayonnaise. While I was eating it, there was a light hint of sake which I kind of like~ and with its salted base, it goes really well with the rice. 🙂 So I was a really happy person.
🍙 The Regulars
I would describe this category as the commoners. 😛 Why??? Because these are like the everyday items that Japanese people subconsciously eat.（・ｗ・）
#1. Bonito Rice Ball (Seasonal Edition)
For starters, the ingredient inside this onigiri is Skipjack tuna, also known as Katsuo which is used extensively in Japanese cuisine. It can be eaten seared, raw, smoked and dried, or even made to dashi (one of the many Japanese fish stock). Okay, alright with the intro, this beauty is one of the “more” famous onigiri that every Japanese will eat. The lightly marinated, with dashi soy sauce, katsuo is being shredded into tiny flakes and wrapped into the onigiri. It’s really simple and delicious.
If you want to try something that Japanese themselves like, these 3 are ranked as one of the top favorite of Japanese. Give it a try!!!
- Tuna Mayonnaise
- Umeboshi (dried Japanese plum)
- Mentaiko (seasoned cod roe)
*All English name translation are directly translated by me and are, therefore, not the official name. (๑・౩・๑)ﾉ
It always impresses me how many types of onigiri I can find in a Konbini. And I’m always surprised by my enthusiasm to try as many as possible before I leave Japan. These are just my takes on ONIGIRI!!!!! What are your favorites??? Come share with us!!!
Ooooh!!!! Also, there is this amazing tip that I want to share with everyone too.
Did you know that you can bring back onigiri back to Singapore??? I brought back about 10 onigiris, 5 bread and 1 bento for my Japanese colleagues. So the next time when you are coming back to Singapore from Japan, remember to buy some back, so as to slow down your “miss everything about Japan” syndrome. ٩(｡˘ ³˘)۶❤︎