Onigiri is basically a rice ball, wrapped in seaweed with a filling of some kind. It’s an extremely popular snack in Japan. They can be homemade and taken for picnics, school lunches etc. but they’re now available in all sorts of flavours in most convenience stores there.

Consider it the taquito of the 7-Eleven or the soggy sandwiches from your local gas station. Except onigiri isn’t gross.


Onigiri literally means “taking hold of something with your hands.”

There are handy instructions on how to put your onigiri together: open cellophane, move rice ball onto one edge of the seawood, roll it together and voilà!

OnigiriIt’s perfect traveling food. I grabbed two onigiri for $3 before getting on a flight. The spicy tuna was canned tuna with that mayo-type dressing served on spicy tuna sushi.

The other one, pickled vegetable, was nice and crunchy with turnip, bracken, and bamboo shoots.

I’ve only seen onigiri in Japanese food stores in Toronto — Sanko carries salmon, okra and pickled plum (umeboshi) flavours as well — but I’m sure they’re available elsewhere in Canada. Or you could try making them yourself.

Sanko Trading Co., 730 Queen St. West, Toronto, (416) 703-4550. Website here.