Onigiri, Japanese Rice Ball

Onigiri, Japanese Rice Ball

Onigiri is a traditional Japanese food that consists of a rice ball usually filled with various ingredients and wrapped in a sheet of seaweed (nori). The term "onigiri" translates to "rice ball" in English. It is a popular and convenient snack or light meal in Japan, often eaten as a portable and easy-to-eat option.

The main component of onigiri is steamed Japanese rice, which is typically lightly salted. The rice is shaped into a triangle, ball, or cylindrical form, using hands or a special mold called an onigiri mold. Sometimes, other grains like barley or mixed grains are used to make onigiri.

Onigiri can be filled with a variety of ingredients, such as pickled plum (umeboshi), grilled salmon (sake), tuna salad (tuna mixed with mayonnaise), cod roe (mentaiko), seasoned vegetables, or other types of meat, fish, or vegetables. The filling is placed in the center of the rice ball, and then the rice is shaped around it.

The outside of the onigiri is often wrapped with a strip of nori, which provides a slightly salty flavor and acts as a barrier to keep the rice moist. However, onigiri can also be made without nori, and some variations include a soy sauce glaze or sesame seeds on the outer layer.

Onigiri can be found in many convenience stores, supermarkets, and bento (lunch box) shops in Japan. They are a popular and portable option for lunches, picnics, and quick snacks.

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