From Katsu Curry to Ramen! 5 Unique Convenience Store Onigiri in Japan That Are Bound to Be Best Sellers!
Have you ever bought onigiri (rice balls) at a convenience store? Onigiri are a popular Japanese comfort food, and while there are some classic types, there are plenty of unusual flavors to try, too. In this article, we'll introduce five unique onigiri you can buy at convenience stores in Japan! All of these are so surprising, you'll find yourself wanting to spread the word after trying them!
1. Tonkotsu Ramen Rice and Soft Boiled Egg Omusubi (7-Eleven)
Tonkotsu ramen soup consists of a slow-cooked pork bone and vegetable stock seasoned with soy sauce. 7-Eleven has recreated these flavors in their Tonkotsu Ramen Rice and Soft Boiled Egg onigiri. This onigiri is finished with a soft-boiled egg, a popular ramen topping, pressed into its front side. Take one bite and you'll find it really does have the rich taste of tonkotsu ramen! There are even bite-sized pieces of char siu pork and ramen inside. The rich flavor and mild acidity of the mayonnaise also adds to the fantastic flavor. You'll experience the satisfaction of eating a bowl of tonkotsu ramen with this onigiri.
Price: 135 JPY (incl. tax)
2. The Devil's Onigiri (Lawson)
The Devil's Onigiri, which gets its name because "it's so good, it may make you overeat", is made of simple ingredients. Tenkasu*, tempura sauce, aonori (green laver), and aosa (sea lettuce) are added to rice cooked with white dashi (broth). The ingredients might be simple, but the rice infused with the flavor of the dashi is packed with umami! It is really devilishly good.
Price: 110 JPY (incl. tax)
* Bits of fried batter that remains when tempura is fried. These pieces taste like tempura batter and readily soak up flavors, so they're often used as topping for udon noodles and other dishes.
3. Biriyani-Style Curry Onigiri with Pearl Barley (Natural Lawson)
Biriyani is an Indian dish made by cooking rice with spices and ingredients such as meat, fish, and vegetables, and is enjoyed with curry. It is served as a festive dish at Muslim weddings, and is also a national Indian dish that is readily available from street vendors.
The Biriyani-Style Curry Onigiri with Pearl Barley is made with daizu no hana (a kind of soybean-derived ingredient), nuts, and bell peppers instead of meat. The chewy texture of the pearl barley, the spiciness of the curry, and the sweetness of the cashew nuts all add to this onigiri. It has great texture, so even one onigiri enough to satisfy!
Natural Lawson is a chain of convenience stores run by Lawson that specializes in food that is good for both health and beauty. The products sold there tend to be a little higher in quality than other convenience stores. There are not many branches, but if you see one, stop by and you're sure to find something interesting.
Price: 150 JPY (incl. tax)
4. Tuna Corn Mayonnaise Omusubi (FamilyMart)
This onigiri is topped with gouda and cheddar cheese grilled to a mouthwatering color. The rice is flavored with soy sauce and is topped with tuna mixed with mayonnaise and corn. The ingredients are Western, but go perfectly with the Japanese flavors, and are enhanced further with spicy black pepper. This onigiri is great as-is, but is also delicious heated up in a microwave. The cheese melts into the rice, so you can enjoy it like a Japanese-style pilaf or rice casserole.
Price: 138 JPY (incl. tax)
5. Katsu Curry Onigiri (Lawson Store 100)
This onigiri recreates the flavors of katsu curry, which is a dish of curry and rice with a pork cutlet on top. The flavor of this onigiri's rice is similar to curry pilaf, with curry flavors infusing each individual kernel of rice. The cutlet has a great taste and acts as an accent to the whole onigiri.
If you've never had katsu curry but enjoyed this onigiri, be sure to try the real dish too!
Lawson 100 has similar products to other convenience stores, but almost all are priced at just 100 JPY (excl. tax)! This chain of dollar-store style convenience stores provide great bang for your buck.
Price: 108 JPY (incl. tax)
These are all really unique onigiri that can easily be purchased at convenience stores! While some ingredients might seem like an odd choice to pair with rice, you'll find they all go perfectly together! Be sure to check them out in convenience stores when you're in Japan.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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