An Onigiri Konbini Guide: Exploring the realm of Convenience Store Rice Balls
Onigiri, or humble rice ball, is a staple item that can be found on the shelves of Japanese convenience stores and supermarkets. These rice balls are a convenient snack that can be easily carried in a bag with various flavors and fillings. To help you understand Onigiri better, choose the perfect one from the vast selection at konbini. This guide will equip you with the knowledge to confidently select your next rice ball snack at every Japanese convenience store onigiri!
What Is Konbini?
Konbini is a Japanese term for convenience stores found all over Japan. They offer various products and services, including snacks, beverages, toiletries, and magazines. Many konbini also serve hot beverages or drinks and have seating areas for customers. They are known for being clean, efficient, and convenient and are an important part of Japanese culture and daily life. Tourists often visit konbini to try unique Japanese snacks and drinks unavailable in their home countries.
What Are Onigiri Rice Balls?
Rice ball, commonly called Onigiri - the simple yet delicious Japanese rice ball- is a snack at every konbini or Japanese convenience store. It's popular because freshly steamed or white rice is molded into triangular or cylindrical shapes and wrapped with crunchy nori or crispy seaweed sheets. What makes Onigiri so versatile is its filling. Traditional options include salted salmon, tuna mayonnaise, pickled plum, spicy cod, bonito flakes, salmon roe and cod roe, flaked tuna mixed, and other vegetables, with each complementary mayonnaise with sesame seeds, always available.
What's More About Rice Balls?
Onigiri is not just a delicious snack that you can taste the flavor easily, and it's also a convenient and portable meal that's perfect for busy people on the go. You can easily find it at konbini, typically in the refrigerated section or near the cash register. Whether you need a quick snack or a more filling meal, it's a must-try. But have you ever wondered why it's shaped like a triangle? The triangle shape has been a popular choice for centuries, and according to an interesting theory, it was inspired by the idea of a sacred mountain where gods resided. People believed that eating Onigiri made its shape promising and brought good luck, which is why the tradition of shaping it into triangles continues today.
What Are The Different Types Of Onigiri At Konbini?
Japanese convenience stores are famous for their Onigiri, also known as rice balls, which are a must-try for tourists. These stores always have a wide selection of fillings to choose from. Here are the top 7 most popular options of every convenience store Onigiri available at 7-Eleven, Family Mart, and Lawson stores, along with their ingredients.
The top 7 Onigiri Konbini
Salmon by 7-Eleven
This particular one even has salmon inside. Salmon is one of the best-known rice ball ingredients, and the salmon covered with roasted laver seaweed or nori is the classic and popular one everyone likes. You can enjoy the crispy texture of the laver seaweed and flaked salmon in the triangle-shaped Onirigi.
Soy Sauce Tuna Mayo by Lawson
Tuna mayonnaise has been one of the most popular Onigiri flavors for a long time in Japan. Lawson offers Japanese-style tuna mayo in rice seasoned with soy sauce wrapped in moist seaweed.
Fried rice by 7-Eleven
Stir-fried rice is commonly known as a popular Chinese dish and has recently enjoyed a good reputation as an Onigiri. The fried rice flavor with dices of pork makes you feel as if you ate real stir-fried rice at Chinese restaurants for only 130 yen.
Grilled Salmon by Lawson
Grilled salmon is a popular grilled rice ball Onirigi flavor of Lawson’s premium selection, which is gorgeously packaged and a little more expensive than others. Grilled salmon fillet seasoned with salt is covered with the top rice brand produced in Niigata Prefecture.
Devil’s Onigiri by Lawson
Devil’s Onigiri, a trendy and unique rice ball offered by Lawson, has been sold most of all at the convenience store since its release in 2018. It is cooked with Dashi (a sauce usually used for Tempura and Soba Noodles) and green seaweed flakes.
Soft-boiled Egg by 7-Eleven
This soft-boiled egg featured the half-cut egg and the rice with the flavor of Tonkotsu (pork bone-based broth) Ramen. Both the rice and egg taste rich. It is recommended to microwave it before you eat it.
If you want a plain and classic Onirigi, choose the triangle-shaped one with the flavor of pickled plum. Picked plum is one of Japan's most famous Onigiri fillings, which tastes a little sour wrapped in a crispy seaweed sheet.
How To Unwrap? Onigiri Konbini Guide
Onigiri is a popular snack at Konbini stores and is typically triangular in unique seaweed packaging, which helps maintain the seaweed's freshness until consumption. However, those accustomed to eating it might struggle to open their package cause it can be difficult to unwrap and eat properly. Here is a step-by-step guide to help with the process.
Step 1: Hold the wrapped onigiri rice balls in one hand and locate Tab 1 with your other hand. Pinch Tab 1 and gently pull it straight down, tearing the wrapping until you reach the bottom of the plain rice ball. Then, continue tearing the wrapping back towards the top until you reach the other end, yaki Onigiri. The literal translation of "Yaki Onigiri" means rice ball. It is the popular way to enjoy, where you smother both sides of plain rice balls with miso or soy sauce, and it will be grilled and infused with crispy textures. Please give it a final tug; the striped strip packaging comes right off.
Step 2: Now it's time for Tab 2, located in the bottom right corner of the red rice top. Hold it firmly with your left hand and pinch Tab 2 with your right hand. Pull the wrapping away from the rice ball until you've freed the lower right corner. You can choose to tear off Tab 2 completely or leave it attached.
Step 3: Last but not least, it's time for Tab 3 in the lower left corner. Grip the right half of the Onigiri with your left hand, pinch, and pull Tab 3 away with your right hand. The packaging should smoothly glide off the wrap without tearing the seaweed, make the last corner without tearing, and eat it carefully.
Make your own Onigiri rice balls with Japan Create's Onigiri Experience Set
Are you ready to experience the deliciousness of Japanese soul food? With our Onigiri DIY kit, you can now make your own mouth-watering rice balls, just like your favorite characters! This on-the-go snack is a staple food in Japan, and with our kit, you can easily recreate it in the comfort of your own home. Our set includes everything you need to make the perfect onigiri, from instant rice to fillings, condiments, furikake seasoning, and seaweed wraps. It's easy to use, and you can customize your onigiri to your liking. So, whether you're a fan of salmon or tuna, spicy cod roe, or you prefer vegetarian options, our kit has got you covered.
Don't miss out on the opportunity to enjoy these delicious treats. Order our Onigiri Experience Set today and start making your own rice balls!
Onigiri, or convenience store rice balls, is a more delicious and versatile Japanese cuisine than any konbini items. With various filling options, including traditional flavors like salted salmon and pickled plum, there is an onigiri to suit everyone's taste. The triangle shape of Onigiri is not just aesthetically pleasing, but it has a cultural significance, with its origins tied to the idea of sacred mountains and good luck. If you're ever in Japan, be this convenient and tasty snack, which is perfect for busy people on the go but take note that you can have onigiri in the comfort of your home with Japan Create's Onigiri Experience Set.
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