Onigiri (おにぎり) is a Japanese rice ball with stuffing. It is one of Japan's most popular comfort foods, and it's easy to take on the go because it requires no utensils. If you watch anime, then you've probably seen characters pulling out Onigiri from their bento boxes. It's usually shaped into a triangle or sphere and wrapped in nori seaweed to give it that statement look. However, people get really inventive with Onigiri and mold it into the cutest shapes.
Onigiri is the sandwich of Japan but when it is much healthier. It is that snack that can be made with your mother to build a stronger connection or shared with friends to comfort them. Nowadays, it is found in convenience stores but it has a strong history as the very first traveling food for samurais, farmers or traders.
You probably clicked on this article to get an answer to the question "what is Onigiri" but we have a lot more in store for you. Keep reading to learn how to prepare Onigiri from your home with everyday ingredients.
Onigiri are a very simple dish consisting mainly of rice, and 1 to 2 toppings most of the time. It's simple, but still requires a bit of preparation, and most importantly, it will require quality ingredients for the best taste. So, before we dive into preparing Onigiri, let's take a look at the ingredients needed.
Japanese short grain rice - this rice is not only soft and chewy, it is also sticky and can be easily molded. Most cooking in Japan involves the use of this rice, you cannot substitute it for another type of rice or your Onigiri will fall apart.
Nori - this is the seaweed used to wrap sushi and Onigiri. It is available in Asian stores.
Salt - it is used to bring out the taste of the rice while molding.
This is the last ingredient needed to make Onigiri, and it is the easiest to get because you can use anything as a filling.
Some popular fillings in Japan include umeboshi (pickled plum), Okaka (bonito flakes dipped in soy sauce), Tuna mayo (tuna mixed with Japanese mayonnaise), and furikake (Japanese seasonings mix).
Japanese Furikake - Rice Seasoning
Tuna Mayo Mix
Another cool thing you can do is use leftovers in your fridge as filling for your Onigiri. Do you have some chicken, beef or bacon left over? It can be your filling. Don't be scared to experiment, anything goes with rice!
Just like any other meal, first, wash your hands before you start cooking. You should already have a cooked pot of sushi rice set.
The first thing you want to get is a good Japanese short grain rice. You can use koshihikari or other popular varieties.
One question that comes around on the internet a lot is: is Onigiri Sushi? Onigiri is not Sushi. The rice used for Onigiri is different from sushi. While Onigiri rice is plain, sushi rice is mixed with vinegar, sugar, and salt. They look similar but taste different.
Salmon is the most popular Onigiri filling, followed by Tarako and Mentaiko.
Convenience stores, or "Konbini" as they are known in Japan, are currently one of the most frequented places for foreign travelers to shop and dine in Japan. Convenience stores sell a wide range of goods, including food, beverages, cosmetics, and other necessities.
The most popular item there and a suggested Japanese dish that international visitors can readily taste is an onigiri (rice ball). Tens of different Onirigi tastes are always available in every convenience store, even those run by big retailers like 7-Eleven, Family Mart, and Lawson.
As a result, here is a list of the top 10 onigiri available in such Japanese convenience stores:
Although it is simple for Japanese, you could find it difficult to open a package containing rice balls that are available at convenience stores. Today, we'll show you how to eat Japanese rice balls the Japanese way by showing you how to open them. Here are some guidelines for the most common packing types used for rice balls sold on the market.
The typical rice ball found in Japanese convenience stores is one shaped like a triangle. Given that it delivers the crispy texture of the roasted laver, it is one of the most well-liked varieties of Japanese rice balls. At first, you might find it challenging to open these rice ball packaging. With the help of this method, you'll be able to open these kinds of rice balls in just a few seconds.
Pull down a little slip with the number “1”
Peel the slip all the way around the rice ball
Pull out the part “2” to the side
Pull out the part “3” to the other side
Unfortunately, we cannot ship Onigiri overseas as it's fresh produce. However, we regularly featured onigiri-shaped crackers such as Senbei, that are also rice-based and taste delicious!
This article was originally written by our freelance writer Umm-Kulthum Abdulkareem, and edited by us.