O-nigiri, also known as o-musubi, nigirimeshi or rice ball, is a Japanese food made from white rice formed into triangular or cylindrical shapes and often wrapped in nori (seaweed). Traditionally, an onigiri is filled with pickled ume (umeboshi), salted salmon, katsuobushi, kombu, tarako, or any other salty or sour ingredient as a natural preservative. Because of the popularity of onigiri in Japan, most convenience stores stock their onigiri with various fillings and flavors. There are even specialized shops which only sell onigiri to take out. Due to the popularity of this trend in Japan, onigiri has become a popular staple in Japanese restaurants worldwide.
At the time onigiri were first invented, refrigerators didn’t exist yet. So the Japanese came up with a method to keep the rice fresh longer by filling it with salty or sour ingredient as natural preservatives. That’s why salt is rubbed on hands when you make onigiri so that rice is kept safe for a longer time.
Formed into a compact form, these little rice balls make rice portable and easy to eat with hands. You can enjoy onigiri for a quick snack, or as school/ work lunch or picnic food. They are also commonly included into bento boxes.
There are many things you can put in onigiri.
1. Fish roe