Can you imagine what the top eaten Japanese food is? Sushi? Tempura? Sashimi? The most wanted Japanese food among Japanese people is Onigiri as known as rice ball in the world.
Why is it the most wanted? Because Japanese people eat up the rice, which is used in order to Onigiri, 531.66 tons per a day. The annual amount of consumed rice for Onigiri is about 194 thousand tons. That means one out of ten eats Onigiri everyday in Japan. The reason why a lot of Japanese people eat Onigiri is that you can buy it at convenience stores anytime and anywhere as long as you want it. Every convenience store has a rack for Onigiri and that rack is quite big enough to stock more than 20 varieties Onigiri.
As you know Onigiri is made of white rice with wrapping in seaweed. Typical Onigiri is just salted or filled with Umeboshi (pickled plum), mixed tuna and mayonnaise, Katsuobushi (dried bonito flake), salted salmon and so on and so forth. Don’t misunderstand Onigiri equals as Sushi. Sushi is made of white rice with vinegar, salt and sugar.
Onigiri has a long history. There is a mention of Onigiri in Murasaki Shikibu’s Diary in 11th century. Also in other writings in 17th century, Samurai eats Onigiri as a quick light meal on the war period and they bring it wrapping by bamboo package.
Now a days Onigiri has gone over seas such as Taiwan, South Korea, China, Indonesia, United States etc. You will find original Onigiri or special Onigiri in convenience stores as if it is Japanese convenience stores.
Onigiri has familiarized with Japanese people for a long time. It is not special but it is always with Japanese people in regular life. Onigiri is Japanese soul food. Why not to try Japanese soul food?