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Onigiri, a Japanese comfort food to satisfy your taste buds

Onigiri, a traditional Japanese cuisine, is a true testament to the culinary ingenuity of the people from the Land of the Rising Sun.
The Japanese capital of Tokyo is full of specialised shops which offer this unique dish either to be eaten on the spot or on a take-out basis.
Owing to the popularity of this food in Japan, Onigiri has become a staple dish in Japanese restaurants worldwide.
Tsutomo Koshibe, an Onigiri shop owner, explained that the dish is “made from Japanese rice. The rice is formed into a triangle-shaped ball, which is then wrapped in seaweed to prevent it from falling apart”.
“Right now we have 10 types of fillings. Although not all are Japanese specific ingredients we do have Ume, seaweed, and salmon as well as other flavours to match our customer’s taste,” Kosibe told further.
Onigiri is a favourite among Japanese people as comfort food, which often brings upon nostalgia that reminds them of their childhood. It is also a common “on the go meal” for many of the workers in Japan as it is readily available throughout the country.
Onigiri is sold everywhere, but I love Onigiri from this shop. Eating here makes me happy after a long day’s work,” a customer at Koshibe’s food joint told.
The secret behind making the perfect Onigiri is to ensure that the rice has been properly cooked and folded with care. This must be done to make sure that the rice is fluffy; otherwise, it won’t be good to use.
Speaking of the nostalgia invoked by the dish, another customer said that “the taste here reminds me of my mother and grandmother’s Onigiri“.
In Japan’s history from the Kamakura period to the early Edo period, Onigiri was used as a quick meal. At that time, Onigiri was simple, as the rice was flavoured only with salt. However as time passed, people became more creative and developed new flavours such as fried chicken and mayonnaise.
According to Koshibe “usually after meals are cooked at home there are always leftovers. These leftovers would be a waste to throw away. So you can make them into rice balls and wrap it in seaweed. Then you can have some delicious Onigiri later on”.
This delicious food is one of the first things visitors are keen to try in Japan as it is quite common at convenience store throughout the country.

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