Saturday, August 9, 2008

Onigiri Omusubi Everywhere Anywhere!

The Onigiri sometimes called an Omusubi may be familiar to most as the Rice Ball.

But in fact most are not ball-shaped at all but triangular like this pre-packaged version I had at Nijiya Market this afternoon (Tarako - cod roe filled, $1.29).

In the background is a bottle of cold green tea shaped as a traditional bamboo Taketsutsu canteen.. ($1.99) How neat! I really wished I were traveling on a train or sitting on a bench somewhere instead of the SD Nijiya Market tables but oh well.

Nijiya Market, 3860 Convoy St # 109, San Diego, CA 92111

I was a bit bummed there was no choice of Miso. I found that odd since I would consider it a classic Omusubi filling but modern Japanese tastes are changing I guess. A Konbini-Onigiri Popularity Chart lists the Tuna-Mayo No. 1 and Negi-Miso a distant 13th.

A photo of a Miso Ramen Flavored Omusubi my friend emailed me a while back.

Labeled "*With Pork Chasu*".. So So Very Curious (and a bit Jealous..).

Here is a link I found on more convenience store pre-packaged Onigiris in Japan. The how-to near the end shows the pull-tab type that splits down the middle.

The version at Nijiya Market requires a little more unfolding and reassembly but one that I'm pretty familiar with.

Although this is an Onigiri post I actually enjoyed their Maki-Sushi ($2.49) for the filling-to-rice ratio. You pay more but for Negi-Toro I'd be happy to. :)

I like the fact that Nijiya uses organic rice. Having said that though it was a bit on the mushy side but not bad at all and guessing the sushi robot it was created with may have caused some of that.
And while I try not to show bitten food shots as exciting I may feel about them, I wanted to show the Shiso that was also inside that made it for me.

I'm curious now how many different variations of these Onigiri packagings there are. I do remember them going through several evolutions after its first introduction some time in the eighties. I especially remember this one that you simply pull out the cellophane divider.

While I don't think crispy dry Nori was ever a prerequisite for good Onigiri it certainly helps and almost becoming one imo as the accessibility of these cleverly packaged snacks make it a standard. The Japanese convenience food business never seemed in short supply of ideas to promote their product. Like suggesting to microwave it first..

Yikes, young Azuma Chizuru.. Weird.

And to end on a less nerdy note.. most of you probably seen the sushi version of this disinformation comedy series, but I found the Onigiri version funny as well..

Like the Earl that liked sandwiches because it allowed him to play a less sticky game of cards, one person preferred to eat his rice ball with a Crisp Dry Laver and invented an ingenious package for all of us to enjoy. Thanks Mr. Filthy Rich Person! :)

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