Onigiri: Why Did I Wait So Long?!

Onigiri is everywhere. Basically, it's a ball of rice with something inside; most onigiri includes fish or other seafood of some sort. It's also usually wrapped in a piece of nori, which is dried seaweed. I've been trying to develop a taste for nori, but there's something about the scent that, to me, is off-putting. Most people (Japanese or western) don't have a problem with it.

Japanese people usually eat onigiri as a snack. The large amount of rice is filling, and it's easy and quick to grab at a convenience store and eat before catching a train. I've had it as a light meal though, before or after a larger meal. And two of them makes for a very tasty and filling breakfast.

The nori is like bread in a sandwich. It holds it all together and keeps the hands clean. The rice is sticky, and will generally stay together, though. There are a few varieties of onigiri that come without the nori, and I've been trying them.
First, I present tamago onigiri. Tamago is Japanese for egg, and as you can see there's half of a hard-boiled egg inside. This is pretty good, especially if you like egg, and makes for a decent breakfast. The price: about a dollar, from the 100-yen shop.
 The next picture, above, is kimchi-flavored. It's kind of spicy and has a lot of flavor. The full name of the kanji/kana above is "buta kimuchi chaahan" - pork kimchi fried rice. I like this one a lot! Coming from 7-Eleven, this is a little more expensive, at about $1.40 with tax.
 The triangle above is yaki onigiri, or grilled/baked onigiri. True to its name, this is baked to brown the outside. It is a bit sweeter on the outside, but this is only rice. So 7-Eleven sells it for only $1.10 with tax.
This is chaashuu chaahan, or roast pork fried rice. 7-Eleven charges 130 yen for this; a simpler fried rice can be found at the 100 yen shop.

There are plenty of nori-wrapped variations too, and I've also tried an oyster onigiri (not wrapped in nori) which was decent. My favorite is the fried rice now, though hopefully in a month or so I'll be chowing down on ones with nori.

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