Whether it's for a snack or a light meal, onigiri, or rice balls, are very much a go-to treat in Japan (once you figure out how to open them.) While you'll find a bunch of delicious varieties around the country, NewDays, a convenience store that you can often find within train stations, is quite fond of shaking things up with adventurous rice ball releases--like with some that turn famous bento into onigiri.
Their Miwaku Onigiri (Enchanted Rice Balls) definitely is a departure from traditional ingredients. The latest two entries will show you why, as they're Takoyaki Party and Italian food flavored.
The first of the two new rice balls is the Takoyaki Party Onigiri. It takes a mix of ingredients used when hosting a takoyaki (grilled octopus dumpling) party at home and delivers it in rice ball form. That means the rice is soaked in takoyaki sauce, packed with red ginger and bonito flakes, then "topped" with takoyaki, shrimp, corn, kimchi cheese, and sausage.
The second is about as far from typical onigiri as you can get, as it's the Enchanted Italian Onigiri, which is a rice ball supposed to pack authentic Italian flavor in a rice ball. It contains rich basil cheese rice with a heap of Parmesan cheese and is topped with salty cured ham, cheese, dried tomatoes, and olives.
Both rice balls will be available at NewDays and NewDays KIOSK stores throughout the Tokyo metropolitan area, Nagano area, and Niigata Station from July 26 to August 8.
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