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Onigiri introduction: 10 Safe & adventurous options!

Jojo MorscheJojo Morsche
Published Time
Posted on October 11, 2018
Modified Time
Updated last June 21, 2022

In the Netherlands, the go-to snack is a sandwich. The Japanese equivalent for this quick snack is the onigiri or rice ball. Cheap, delicious, and available everywhere you should definitely give this snack a try on your Japan trip! When visiting a convenience store in Japan for the first time, you might be overwhelmed by all of the options. Even with English translations provided for the different flavors, it's difficult to pick the most delicious one. In this little guide I'll show you 5 safe options for flavors that everyone can enjoy and 5 adventurous flavors that you either love or hate!

Safe onigiri options

Onigiri options that aren't too crazy and delicious for most travelers!

1. Tuna Mayonnaise

The tuna mayonnaise onigiri is one of the most popular onigiri, loved by both Japanese people and travelers! The tuna doesn't have a very strong fish flavor and the Japanese mayonnaise makes it slightly sweet. It's an onigiri that even the most picky eaters will enjoy! Tuna mayonnaise onigiris are available at all Japanese convenience stores. At Family mart you can find a 'Japanese style' tuna mayo onigiri that has darker rice and a slight soy sauce flavor.

2. Chicken rice onigiri

Chicken rice is another favorite of mine, it can be enjoyed warm or cold. The rice is seasoned and inside are small pieces of chicken, bamboo shoot, carrot and shiitake mushrooms! People who enjoy flavored fried rice would enjoy this onigiri. Personally I like the Chicken and rice onigiri sold at Lawson but at Seven Eleven there's a slightly similar onigiri called Chicken & vegetables.

3. Beef onigiri

For those who aren't fond of fish, there's also a delicious beef onigiri. This onigiri can also be eaten warm or cold and thinly sliced marinated angus beef was used for the filling. The beef onigiri is available at several convenience stores including Seven Eleven.

4. Red rice & sesame onigiri

The sesame onigiri is perfect if you want to eat something light or if you're a vegetarian visiting Japan! The red rice in combination with sesame has a nice traditional flavor that is not too strong but also not too blend. This onigiri is available at all convenience stores.

5. Grilled onigiri

This grilled onigiri tastes amazing warm! It has an amazing soy sauce flavor and is available at all convenience stores. What is there not to like?

Adventurous onigiri

The following onigiri flavors have very traditional Japanese flavors and most visitors either love them or hate them!

1. Tarako: grilled spicy pollack roe onigiri

2. Umeboshi: sour pickled plum onigiri

3. Pickled takana mustard : beans & wasabi mustard onigiri

4. Japanese seaweed

5. Cod roe onigiri

What's your favorite flavor onigiri? Have you tried any of these? Would you go for the safe or for the adventurous options? Let us know in the comments below!

Interested in more food news? What about checking out our latest blog posts about the top 10 original Japanese drinks or about weird ramen flavors?

Do you like cute Japanese stuff like kawaii plushies? Read this blog post about the Mimikyu plushie that protects your wrists!

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