food

What do Japanese people put in their rice balls?

14 Comments
By Steven Simonitch

If you ever visit Japan and want to sample one of the staples of local cuisine, find a convenience store and grab an onigiri, or rice ball. Easy to make, plentiful in variety and an essential component of any bento lunch, the onigiri is to Japan what the sandwich is to the West.

But with so many different fillings, how do you know which onigiri to try out? We’d like to share with you this list ranking the most popular onigiri fillings in Japan.

The list comes from a survey taken last month by Japanese internet research group My Voice, which polled 11,581 people about what food they like to stuff in their balls of rice. The results are as follows:

  1. Salmon – 66.9%
  2. Tarako (salted cod roe) – 48.7%
  3. Mentaiko (seasoned cod roe) – 47.8%
  4. Tuna & mayonnaise – 47.2%
  5. Konbu (dried kelp) – 42.2%
  6. Umeboshi (dried Japanese plum) – 41.1%
  7. Katsuo (dried bonito) – 36.3%
  8. Takikomi gohan (seasoned rice steamed with vegetables, meat or fish) – 30.8%
  9. Baked onigiri – 30.1%
  10. Takana (leaf mustard) – 29.0%
  11. Tenpura – 26.6%
  12. Ikura (salted salmon roe) – 25.7%
  13. Osekihan (rice steamed with red adzuki beans) – 21.3%
  14. Minced chicken – 20.0%
  15. Fried rice – 15.6%
  16. Nikumaki onigiri (pork soaked in a soy sauce base) – 15.1%
  17. Salt (no fillings, just salted rice. It’s better than it sounds.) – 14.7%
  18. Grilled beef rib – 14.4%
  19. Stewed pork – 12.1%
  20. Eel – 9.2%
  21. Omelette & ketchup – 9.1 %
  22. Cheese – 4.4%
  23. Other – 3.7%

In addition to fillings, participants were also asked a number of questions related to their onigiri eating habits.

For example, while 99% of participants answered that they like onigiri, 62% of them said they “more or less” like it whereas only 35% said they are “extremely fond of” the food.

85% of participants said they buy onigiri at convenience stores (as opposed to supermarkets - and believe me, they’re no good) and 76% said that when they eat onigiri, it’s during lunch.

One interesting finding was that while 62% of people said they would eat an onigiri made by someone they know, only 30% said they would eat the onigiri crafted by an unfamiliar or unknown hand, surely the legacy of 16th century ninja poison rice ball assassinations.

Source: DietClub

© RocketNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


14 Comments
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I love meat sauce, and I enjoy the occasional onigiri (but home-made tastes best), but I had to pass on the "Chef Kawagoe's Meat Sauce Rice Ball" I saw at my neighorhood Lawsons the other day... although now I think about it, I suppose it might have tasted something like Italian arincini with tomato sauce.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Err, arancini, that is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Miso!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

abura miso ftw!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have only had the salmon ones....the fresh ones are the best....I wish I could find them here!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Nothing beats good ole umeboshi!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

katsuobushi for me thanks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Skippy's peanut butter, while the rice is still warm. mmmmm

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I really like the brown ones with mushrooms, but my utter favourite is tarako-mayo, or variations thereof.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But with so many different fillings, how do you know which onigiri to try out?

Just what do non-Japanese put in their rice balls, I am terrified just to thin..

Skippy's peanut butter, while the rice is still warm. mmmmm

Oh sweet merciful lawd

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anything and everything these days"

"Skippy's peanut butter"

Creamy or Super Chunk? Nyuk nyuk nyuk!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

One of JT's more salacious headlines ever.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Mentaiko"

That stuff is not fit to eat.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I love the FamilyMart salmon onigiri, with a nice big solid chunk of salmon in the middle, as opposed to most salmon onigiri which are just bits of shredded salmon in the middle.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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