Treat Yourself! Five Recommended Premium Convenience Store Onigiri in Japan
A popular item at convenience stores in Japan are onigiri, which are rice balls wrapped in nori (seaweed) with filling in the middle. They are usually about 100 JPY each, but recently, a number of premium onigiri have appeared in the market, some with price tags exceeding 200 JPY. This article shines the spotlight on five premium convenience store onigiri.
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This article introduces premium onigiri available at convenience stores. One of them, FamilyMart, is a d POINT Member Store, so you can purchase onigiri from them at great prices!
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1. Kinshari Onigiri Ikura Shoyuzuke (Lawson)
"Ikura" is the Japanese term for salmon roe and is considered to be a premium sushi ingredient. Kinshari Onigiri Ikura Shoyuzuke is an onigiri with a generous amount of this luxury ingredient. I am particularly fond of the texture and the way the fresh ikura that has been marinated in soy sauce pops in the mouth. The sweet and melty soy sauce-flavored ikura goes wonderfully with the rice. Lawson\'s Kinshari Onigiri series is made with rice that\'s perfect for onigiri based on factors such as the rice\'s sweetness, umami, and stickiness. The fluffy rice breaks apart when you bite into it so that the flavor of the filling spreads in the mouth.
Price: 198 JPY (incl. tax)
2. Kinshari Onigiri Bincho Tuna with Mayo (Lawson)
This is another onigiri in the Kinshari series. It is a premium tuna mayonnaise onigiri with large chunks of tuna in it. Tuna mayonnaise onigiri is popular among people of all ages in Japan, and this particular one is my top recommendation among the numerous tuna mayonnaise onigiri out on the market. Mayonnaise is mixed with Bincho tuna, which has a light flavor, to make the filling for this onigiri. You can enjoy the texture of the tuna with every bite, and the creaminess of the mayonnaise beautifully brings together the carefully chosen rice, seaweed, and tuna.
Price: 215 JPY (incl. tax)
3. Akkeshi Ekimae Ujiie Machiaijo Kakimeshi (NewDays)
NewDays is a chain of convenience stores located within JR East Japan train stations. True to a convenience store chain with outlets in railway stations, it has made an onigiri out of Ujiie Kakimeshi (Ujiie Oyster Rice), an ekiben (bento box sold at train stations) that Akkeshi Station on the Nemuro Main Line in Hokkaido is known for. The brown rice is sweet and savory and has deep umami from the oysters. The black bits that peek out of the rice are a sea vegetable called "hijiki". In the middle of the onigiri is a whole oyster full of umami. It\'s not a fancy looking onigiri, but it is full of the aroma of the sea and umami, so it\'s definitely worth buying if you come across it.
Price: 265 JPY (incl. tax)
4. Scallop Butter Shoyu Omusubi (FamilyMart)
This satisfying omusubi offers a wonderful filling of scallop that\'s been cooked in butter and shoyu (soy sauce). The flavor of the scallop is enhanced manifold by the aroma of the soy sauce and richness of the butter. Bite into it and you are greeted with the springy texture and the umami of the scallop, which will fill your mouth. It is especially recommended when you are craving something with a deep flavor. A lot of love and care has gone into making this onigiri, with seaweed salt (salt made from seaweed, characterized by its mellow flavor) sprinkled on the surface and seaweed from the Seto Inland Sea used to wrap it.
Price: 198 JPY (incl. tax)
FamilyMart has a wide selection of onigiri, as well as a full line of microwaveable ready-made side dishes called "Okaasan Shokudo" (Mother\'s Kitchen). Stop by if you want to have a simple meal while traveling, or want to try some Japanese food!
5. Gyumeshi Onigiri (FamilyMart)
This onigiri is packed with Japanese Black beef, which is one of the highest grades of beef available. The Japanese Black wagyu that has been cooked with soy sauce and sugar has a strong flavor that goes well with rice. Take one bite of this onigiri and you\'ll be greeted with the fragrant aroma of the meat. This aroma and the generous filling of sweet and savory meat goes so perfectly with the rice that you may be tempted to eat one onigiri after another! The salty flavor of the rice that you taste after the sweetness is also pleasant. It is not quite as sweet as teriyaki, so you can enjoy the umami flavor of the meat all the way through to the last bite.
Price: 185 JPY (incl. tax)
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Onigiri is a kind of Japanese fast food that has been enjoyed for more than 1,000 years. It is great as a snack when you are hungry, and as a meal when you want a light one. Why not splurge a bit when traveling in Japan and try some premium onigiri?
*This article was published on WOW! JAPAN. Click here to see a list of WOW! JAPAN articles.
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.