Shōjo Sensei: Onigiri

Rice balls are a staple food in Japan because they are easy to make and very portable. These common eats are found in various manga, but I was introduced to the term onigiri through the series Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya. Tohru Honda tells of her experience playing the game Fruits Basket in school. Although every one is assigned the name of a fruit, she was assigned the name onigiri (rice ball). Unaware of what the other children were doing, she later realizes that they were intentionally leaving her out of the game, since an onigiri is not a fruit.

Onigiri are made with sticky rice and a variety of fillings. Wrapped in nori, or strips of dried seaweed, they are compact and comparable to a western sandwich. Here is a simple onigiri recipe that uses salmon as a filling. Below is an insightful video that shows the process. Many different fillings are used.

Have you had any fantastic onigiri? Share your experience with us in the comments. Until next time, いただきます – Itadakimasu! {Thank you for the food!}

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Super mom and teacher until the kids go to bed, then romance manga addict and writer until the caffeine wears out! Specializes in the shoujo and josei genre of manga and anime.
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  • I actually made onigiri once, using swordfish as the filling. They were fun to make and really tasty.

    Since you brought up Fruits Basket, all I can think now is of that random scene of the "space rice ball in the sailor suit" from the anime.

  • Strangely enough, I made onigiri today! The first time I'd heard its name was on aishiteruze baby, where the little girl sings its name over and over!

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