After taking a moment to reflect back on the more than five years BuildingMyBento has been around, two things stand out–
- There has only ever been one themed month, and that was five years ago.
- Not enough deference has been given to the literal meaning of buildingmybento. In other words, food that is commonly found in a Japanese bento.
Without further ado, I bring you onigiri month…
Onigiri (おにぎり), also known as omusubi (お結び), is at a minimum a clump of rice and salt. Although that clump is typically in the shape of a triangle or circle, it wouldn’t surprise me if someone tried forming one into a Nepalese flag. These rice balls are popular on-the-go snacks in Japan, but they can also be found at convenience stores in Taiwan, China, and South Korea, possibly among others.
(Although the emoji for onigiri – 🍙 – represents well the carbohydrate-heavy snack, to me it either looks like a nose, or a…modest rice ball.)
Now that you’re more familiar with this Japanese staple, you might be thinking, how could there be a whole month dedicated to something so dull? I wondered the same thing…
until realizing how many photos I had of the myriad varieties of omusubi available throughout Japan. So, except for a couple of days, I’ll be introducing you to some ideas with which to prepare your own onigiri.
初めに (to start)…
How to Open: There will often be instructions on the packaging on how to properly open the packet. This one is easy because the whole onigiri is inside of it. Others, you’ll have to tear at certain places by following numbers 1, 2, and 3.
For some Japanese language assistance, the writing in parentheses on the package、税込 (ぜいこみ/zeikomi), means tax is already included.
What are your favorite types of onigiri? Have you seen them at your local convenience store/petrol station/vending machine?