Onigiri (Rice balls): What is the filling?

By Yoshi, November 18, 2010

Most people eat rice as a staple food in Japan, we have many kind of rice dishes.
“Onigiri” (おにぎり) is one of them, rice balls, usually with a filling.
They are very portable, and therefore are very popular for carry-along lunches since olden days.

You can see many kind of “Onigiri” at convenience stores.
“Onigiri” are coated by dried laver seaweed,
you might think what the fillings are!

Basic fillings are…….

- Umeboshi (うめぼし,梅干し): Pickled ume (kind of plum) fruits. Very salty and sour. It’s a very traditional filling has antiseptic effect, and therefore is good for carry-along lunch “Onigiri”.
- “Sha-ke” (しゃけ,鮭) Grilled salmon
- “Konbu” (こんぶ,昆布) A kind of seaweed flavored with soy sauce and suger.
- “Okaka” (おかか) Bonito flakes flavored with soy sauce.
- “Tuna mayonnaise” (ツナマヨネーズ) Tuna with mayonnaise. we call it “Sea Chicken” as well.
- “Mentaiko” (めんたいこ, 明太子) Seasoned cod roe

There are many other fillings, “Yakitori” (Grilled Chicken), “Yakiniku” (Grilled Beef), “Negitoro” (raw tuna with leeks), “Ikura” (salmon caviar) …..

Not being good at Japanese, just try “Onigiri” as a “Fortune Cookie”!!
I hope you can get a tasty one!