Essential menu for bento
"Onigiri" is a round, triangular or cylindrical ball of rice. Onigiri, also called "nigiri-meshi" or "omusubi," is a popular Japanese food enjoyed as a snack or on-the-go meal.
To make an onigiri, wet your hands with water so that the rice will not stick, and salt your palms before shaping the freshly cooked rice and adding the filling.
Traditional ones with fillings, such as umeboshi (pickled ume fruit), okaka (bonito flakes seasoned with soy sauce), salted salmon, salted cod roe, and tsukuda-ni (simmered condiments), in the center are shaped into a ball and then wrapped with a sheet of nori (dried laver). Wrappings can also be takana-zuke (pickled takana leaves), tororo-kombu (shredded kelp pieces) instead of laver. These days, rice balls with Western-style fillings, such as tuna and mayonnaise, have become popular.
Seasoned rice, including maze-gohan (mixed rice) and takikomi-gohan (rice cooked with other ingredients), is also used for rice balls but usually without a filling. "Yaki-onigiri" is a rice ball that has been grilled with soy sauce or miso.