“Onigiri” (Omusubi) is one of the Japanese soul food. When we have been overseas for long time by business trip or study something, we always miss Ramen, Sushi or this Onigiri.
“Onigiri” is called “Omusubi” also. This is hand-rolled steamed rice ball sprinkled with salt and wrapped in a sheet of dried laver (Nori). Usually, this shape are tripod, ball or sand bag shape.
Today, I would like to introduce Japanese soul food as Onigiri.
The most common content is Umeboshi(Sour pickled plum). This is to prevent the rice from rotting. We eat well grilled salmon, sweetened kelp, Mentaiko(spicy cod roe),salmon roe, bonito flakes with soy sauce, or tuna mayonnaise.
In Nagoya city of Aichi prefecture, there is Tempura on the top of onigiri, called Tenmusu.
The seasoning is sprinkled with salt to prevent spoilage. In addition, Sesame, chopped pickles, or Shirasu(boiled baby anchovies) are often sprinkled.
If rice and salt are so delicious, you can eat rice with rice balls as a side dish!
Generally, it is wrapped with a Nori or seaweeds, but we sometimes wrap with a thin omelette or Shiso as follows.
In Italy, I have heard that a woman who cannot do housework is made fun of “Such a woman who can’t iron even…”.
In Japan, such a woman is said ” a woman who can’t make Onigiri even…”. So, the round shape Onigiri is a symbol of shame for Japanese housewife!
It was embarrassing that women can not make Onigiri, but recently, Such people making sandwich-shaped products called “Onigirazu” has increased, and that prejudice has been slightly reduced.
Yaki-onigiri means a grilled rice ball.
This Onigiri is flavored with soy source or miso and grilled on surface. We often purposely burn the surface and eat it. Because that is crispier aroma and more tasty!
Left photo is rice ball wrapped in sliced meat.
We usually make Onigiri by hand, but recently there is rice ball molds. You can make rice balls easily!
It’s very easy to make. mixed seasoning rice at first, then add the rice to the mold.
Next, stuffing an ingredient into Onigiri.
Finally, just close the lid strongly.
That’s all. Very easy,right?
How many kinds of rice do you think?
In fact, there are approx.500 varieties registered in Japan! These are completely different from SAKE and glutinous rice.
Japan Grain Inspection Association grade test based on a sensory test of cooked rice every year. It is the same as the French wine grading.
Kinds of rice is the most important for Onigiri.
Indica rice goes well for western foods, but not for Japanese foods. Because it is too dry texture so that we can not grab it.
Japanese steamed rice is rather sticky.
The place of finest rice in Japan is Uonuma City, Niigata Prefecture, Hokuriku. this city is famous place for Sake and fishes also.
It’s more than USD8 per 1kg!(Ave. is USD4) But, very delicious…actually unbelievable tasty😍
Why not make Onigiri at home?
It can keep for a long time after freezed.
Although it is yummy getting cold even, I recommend you it is better if you microwave it at lunch. You can put Nori wrapping as you like. The meaning of wrapping Nori is just to make it hard for rice grains to stick to hands.
We often make it the day before and bring it for lunch.
Onigiri is healthy and rice fills us up better than bread does.
Moreover, you can save lunch cost too!