There’s Some Culture in My Anime: Onigiri

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© Yuto Tsukuda, Shun Saeki/ Shueisha, Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Committee

I saw characters eating them in anime from Spirited Away to Dragon Ball Z, but for the longest time, I had no idea what onigiri were.

According to Brock, they were jelly-filly donuts. Luckily, I’m not that gullible, but as you’ll soon find out, I am that stupid. At some point I ascertained they were rice balls, but it wasn’t until last year (during a sushi date) that I came to the realization that the black part is a seaweed wrap. Yes, I am that clueless.There's Some Culture in My Anime: Onigiri

Even MORE embarrassing than that, I had no idea onigiri had stuffing until watching Food Wars. Now, I won’t make a ton of excuses for myself because I feel ridiculous for not knowing this earlier, but what non-cooking anime explains onigiri to its audience? Could I have Googled this mysterious food? Yes. Did I? No…Clearly, no.

There's Some Culture in My Anime: Onigiri
Thank you, Food Wars.

So what are the basics of onigiri? Believe it or not, it’s insanely simple. You will need two essentials—sushi rice and nori seaweed wrap. From there, it’s dealer’s choice. Onigiri is typically an on-the-go kind of food, so you’ll want to season or fill the rice with something very flavorful. That way, you won’t have to dip it in anything as you eat it. Quite often, leftovers like fried chicken or tuna, with vegetable accompaniment, are the filling of choice. And because Japan is full of culinary geniuses, there are pre-made spice packets available to add to your rice.

Out of all the tutorials on YouTube, I thought Make Food. Eat Food.’s tutorial was the most thorough (and they included six ways to make Onigiri). Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m starving.

Get in the culinary spirit with a little Food Wars here on Viewster (but I don’t recommend doing so on an empty stomach).

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m starving.


Whether you’re deep in mecha marathons, Japanese news, or anime binge watching, we’d like to hear about it. Click the [CONTRIBUTE] button on our top menu bar and get your thoughts out there.

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