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Gems of Japan: Handmade Onigiri or Onigiri From a Convenience Store?

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Which will be in your Full Course Menu?

My first encounter with an onigiri was at a convenient store located in Tokyo, Japan (huh, why does that sound so drastic? It's as if a showdown is about to occur). I looked directly at the well packaged rice ball, and saw images attached to the front of the plastic wrap, which indicated a type of filling.

Some included salmon, egg, tuna, bonito (don't remind me again), plum, konbu, and more. When I took my first bite, it was set. I added the onigiri to my Japan Full Course Menu, just as they do it in Toriko.

After some time, I saw an onigiri in Kyoto. But this was no ordinary onigiri from the convenient store. Instead, it was a handmade onigiri that was prepared on the same day.

Time itself had paused and there was only one thing to do: purchase the handmade onigiri, as well as the convenient store onigiri, and have them battle it out to determine which is the supreme onigiri. The battle would be done by a taste test.

Handmade onigiri: It was huge. It seemed like 1 1/2 convenient store onigiri's put together. I was quite glad about that, until I took my first bite -- it was only rice. The ratio between rice and salmon was disproportional. Now, the salmon was great and tasted super fresh, but the amount was so miniscule.

The seaweed was moist, which I didn't enjoy. A moist seaweed is chewy and tough to eat. The reason it's moist is because the onigiri is warm rather than cold or cooled down. It's a battle and I don't like to battle with my food.

(Konbu onigiri)

Convenient store onigiri: It was small and had a cool temperature. Opening it felt like a work of art, as you need to pull the wrapped down, then up, which tears the plastic in half. Then you pull right and left to free the onigiri of plastic. After, the corners of the seaweed sheet blossom a bit, in which you need to lay it across the onigiri in order for it to stick. Finally, the rice ball nearly becomes covered with seaweed.

The first bite is full of crunch (since the seaweed isn't moist) and cooled down rice, along with a taste of salmon. Now the ratio between rice and salmon is also disproportional, in my opinion, but not nearly as much as the home-made onigiri. It's as if the homemade onigiri contained the same amount of salmon, but had an increase of rice.

Japan Full Course Menu: Before tasting them both, I secretly rooted for the homemade onigiri, as I love homemade food. I also cook, thus I appreciate it as well. But with such a noticeably unbalanced rice-salmon ratio along with moist seaweed, I couldn't add it to the menu. The convenient store onigiri has made it instead. It taste delicious, fresh, crunchy, and cool. It's awesome. But I do hope to find a home-made onigiri that is supreme.

(Yes, it's true: I purchased this manga simply because of the onigiri.)

I asked a Japanese friend and tourist about their opinion. The Japanese person said they prefer the homemade onigiri, but it's a little more expensive and not as convenient to get as the one in the store. The tourist said he likes the home-made onigiri for its moist seaweed and warm rice, rather than the cool and crunchy one at convenient stores.

That, I found interesting. What about you?


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Lindo Korchi
Lindo KorchiContributor   gamer profile

Osu! I'm Lindo, a writer focused on philosophical thought, travel, & storytelling. I aim to look beyond the lens given to us by our culture, understand new perspectives, and create awesome storie... more + disclosures


 



Filed under... #feature #food #gems of japan #japan #Japanator Eats #travel

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